One of the greatest acts of charity and important ministries of all the baptized is to pray for the living and the dead. The greatest and most powerful prayer we have is the Mass, since the fruits of the Mass are the very fruits of Jesus' redemption. For that reason, anyone may have a Mass celebrated for loved ones who have died, or for the living who have some need or are celebrating some special occasion. This is an ancient Catholic practice, and all are invited to exercise it when it seems appropriate. The person(s) requesting the Mass will have a designated day/time established for the Mass to be celebrated in consultation with a member of the parish staff that will be publicized in the bulletin and receive a Mass Card or have one sent to a designated person to notify him or her of the Mass.
In our parish there are many requests for Mass intentions. The following policies are now being implemented in order to accommodate the numerous Mass requests in a reasonable and fair manner.
Guidelines for Mass Intentions
1. Universal Church discipline as contained in the Code of Canon Law (canons 945 – 958) of the 1983 Code of Canon Law strictly regulates the offerings made for the celebration of Mass.
2. Canon Law only permits us to schedule Mass intentions for those Masses that can be celebrated by our priests within a calendar year. (January-December). In order to give the opportunity for as many parishioners as possible to schedule a Mass intention for their loved ones and to accommodate recently deceased individuals, the Mass Intention book will open for twelve (12) months January 1st to December 31st. Intentions that cannot be scheduled at St. Francis within a calendar year will be forwarded to other priests in the diocese in small parishes where Mass intentions are less numerous if acceptable to the person making the request. Otherwise, the intention cannot be accepted since a priest may only accept one intention per Mass.
3. Mass intentions may not be scheduled for more than one year in advance.
4. A Mass intention may be requested for a Mass for: a deceased loved one;
a living person who is sick or suffering; a living person who is celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special moment in their life; in thanksgiving to God (including the Lord Jesus or the Holy Spirit); in thanksgiving for a prayer from a Blessed or a Saint; or for a prayer intention (so long as the intention does not contradict Church teaching).
5. A Mass intention may not be requested for a prayer intention that contradicts Catholic doctrinal or moral doctrine.
6. Lengthy intention listings cannot be published in the bulletin and may be edited for the sake of brevity. Since the purpose of publishing the intention in the bulletin is to notify the family and friends of the intention, we suggest the omission of middle initials, titles, etc. when possible. Each intention is limited to either two names or one group. Please be sure to indicate if the person for whom the
Mass is requested is living or dead.
7. A maximum of six (6) intentions per year from any one individual may be scheduled at the parish with no more than two (2) scheduled for a weekend Mass. All other requests will be scheduled for the parish daily Masses. Additional Masses may be requested; However, these will be reviewed by the pastor for consideration.
8. Requests will be honored on a first-come-first-serve basis in the order in which the request is received at the Parish Office.
9. A $10 stipend, as determined by diocesan policy, is to accompany each Mass request. Intentions will not be recorded until the stipend is received. Canon Law requires that all stipends taken for Mass Intentions be said for the intention as designated.
10. Requests for Mass Intentions are made by filling out the form available at the Welcome Table or online (see below). Forms may be submitted with stipends through the weekly collection basket, being mailed to the Parish Office, or dropped by the parish office.
11. Please note that Mass intentions may be requested for Sundays, holy days, and most weekdays throughout the year. Mass intentions cannot be scheduled for Good Friday, All Souls Day (November 2), or a scheduled day on which daily Mass will normally not be celebrated (e.g., Friday after Thanksgiving). One Mass every Sunday must be scheduled for the intentions of our parishioners known as Pro Populo (For the People) as required by Canon Law, normally celebrated on Sundays at 5:30pm. Scheduling of multiple ‘stipended’ intentions for one Mass is prohibited by Canon Law.
12. Mass requests will be granted as close to the requested date and time as possible. If it is not possible to comply with the primary request, the next closest date and time will be scheduled.
13. The schedule of Mass intentions is subject to change according to the Mass schedule and there is no promise that they will be said on the scheduled day due to priest illness, schedule change, vacations, etc. If a priest will be away (e.g., annual priests retreat) but is able to fulfill the requested Mass, he may celebrate the Mass while away from the parish. Attempt will be made to contact the concerned parties ahead of time if a Mass needs to be rescheduled, but that is not always possible.
14. Payment is required at time of submitting the Mass Intention by either cash, check or using Faith Direct.