We are blessed that many Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston follow the time-honored custom of requesting a Mass to be celebrated for their loved ones, living or deceased, or for special intentions. We thank those who choose to have these Masses said in the missions and invite others to join their ranks in following this tradition.
When a Mass offering is made to The Propagation of the Faith, the stipend is sent to the missions, along with the name of the person or intention for whom the Mass is to be celebrated. Priests serving the Church in Africa, Asia and South America unite themselves and their congregations to you in the clearest sign of our Church's universality -- the Eucharist.
A recent letter of thanks came from Father Bernard Zulu in the Diocese of Chipata, Zambia, one of the largest and poorest in that country. The territory of the diocese covers an area ten times the size of our Archdiocese; it's one paved road covers the length of the diocese -- 400 miles. Despite the vast territory, Chipata has only fifty-one priests to serve a population of almost 430,000 Catholics. None of the priests receive a salary; instead, they depend on the kindness of parishioners, who themselves may live in poverty.
Father Bernard writes, "Your donors' support is truly life giving and an extraordinary experience. We are able to do more pastoral ministry with less personal worries."
As we all struggle to find different ways to reach out to our loved ones during these isolating times, sending someone a card telling them that a Mass is being offered in the missions for them is a wonderful way to send comfort.
There are many benefits to lending this vital support to mission priests: first and foremost, your loved ones are remembered at the Altar of God as a Mass is offered for them. Second, a priest in the missions will obtain your offering and be able to serve the people of God entrusted to his pastoral care. Finally, your loved ones will receive a beautiful card acknowledging your support of the spread of the Gospel in their name.
Please help us support the ministry of priests in the missions by having Masses offered in the names of family and friends. For more information, call our office at 617-542-1776 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The benefits are both earthly and eternal.
- Maureen Crowley Heil is Director of Programs and Development for the Pontifical Mission Societies, Boston.
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