Mass stipends for your intentions are wonderful remembrances and tributes to loved ones, both living and deceased. Those who have a Mass offered, and those for whom a Mass is offered, partake of the grace of the Eucharistic sacrifice in a special way. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the perfect offering made to God.
Mass stipends are great contributions to the mission work of the Church. A mission priest will celebrate Mass for you or your intention. As the mission priest celebrates Mass for your intentions, he unites you with himself and his congregation - a clear sign of the universality of the Church! Your Mass offering is a special help to a mission priest, poor himself and serving among the poorest of the human family. For many mission priests, Mass offerings are a substantial means of day-by-day support for their ministry and the people they serve.
In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, the majority of our Mass stipends are distributed to our own St. Louis priest missionaries and retired priests of our Archdiocese. We receive many requests for stipends from other foreign missionary priests for Masses to be offered. We have far more requests from priests than we can fulfill. We are in great need of Mass stipend offerings, and any that come to us are most welcome and very much appreciated!
A goodwill donation (stipend) of $5.00 per Mass is appreciated, and will be sent in its entirety to missionaries. Any additional donation is appreciated – it will help with our cost of forwarding your Mass requests and stipend donation to a missionary.
Gregorian Masses have existed since the first centuries of the Church – more than thirteen hundred years. The value of these Masses is that once completed, the person for whom they were intended to benefit would be released from Purgatory. The name "Gregorian" refers to Pope St. Gregory the Great, who reigned from the year 590 to 604. He wrote in DIALOGUES that when he had finished a series of thirty Masses for a departed monk named Justus, he received a visitation from the monk who told him that he had been released from Purgatory and had entered heaven. In 1884 and 1888, the Congregation of Indulgences declared the confidence of the faithful in the efficacy of Gregorian Masses to be pious and reasonable and asserted their approval by the Church.
Pope Benedict XIII praised the pious practice in a sermon when he preached, "The merits of the Gregorian Masses lie in the great power which St. Gregory has before the throne of God." The practice of having Gregorian Masses offered for the deceased has remained a custom of the faithful for centuries.
There are a number of simple requirements to gain this benefit for a departed loved one.
- It is required that thirty consecutive Masses be said – one per day for thirty days.
- Masses must be said on thirty consecutive days WITHOUT interruption.
- Masses can only be offered for one deceased person, not for several and not for all of the faithful departed.
- It is not required that Masses be said by the same priest, but they must be said for thirty consecutive days, whether by one, two, or more priests, and all for the same intention.
The suggested offering for Gregorian Masses is $150.00, and will be sent in its entirety to missionaries. Any additional donation is appreciated – it will help with our cost of forwarding your Mass requests and stipend donation to a missionary.
Deferred Mass Stipends
Deferred Mass Stipends are arranged when one sends a donation for Masses (for either oneself or a loved one – the "beneficiary") in advance, so that when one passes away, the Masses can be scheduled and said for the beneficiary. It is a great comfort for many people to know that arranging Masses in this way will ensure that the Masses will be offered at the time of death.
When we receive an inquiry about Deferred Mass Stipends, we will send you an introductory letter with several forms, including: a Proposal for Deferred Mass Stipends, an Explanation of Mass Types (regular Masses or Gregorian Masses), and an Agreement Form. We ask that you fill out and sign the Agreement Form and return it to our office. Once received, we will send you an acknowledgment letter and a form to give to the individual who will notify the Mission Office upon your death or the beneficiary's death.
NOTE: If you have established a Will or Trust, you may not need to establish a Deferred Mass Stipend Account. You could direct in your will that a specific amount of money be "distributed to the Mission Office, Archdiocese of Saint Louis as an unrestricted distribution, in name and memory of (Name) for Masses to be celebrated for the repose of their soul." (Suggested wording for Will or Trust.) Or, you could direct in your will that the amount be directed to your parish for the Masses to be celebrated.
If you would like a Mass offered by a missionary priest and a Mass card sent (suggested offering = $5), or if you would like
Gregorian Masses offered and a certificate sent (suggested offering = $150), please call 314-792-7655 or write to us:
Society for the Propagation of the Faith
20 Archbishop May Drive
St. Louis, MO 63119