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Having Masses said for the Holy Souls.

Before explaining our organization and approach to having Masses said for the Holy Souls, let's clarify some terms and possible issues people may have.

 

In training his disciples on bringing the Gospel to the world, Our Lord told his disciples in Luke's Gospel:

Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house!' And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; heal the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.'

 

Luke 10:3-9

From this we clearly see that Our Lord believes in a just wage for the work of His new priests/disciples. The word the Church uses today for this is called a stipend.  A stipend is a fixed pay, salary or retribution for work done; the income of an ecclesiastical living.

 

In order to have Masses offered up for the Holy Souls on a regular basis, we collect stipend money on a monthly basis.  Is it something that's required? No. Is it something that is just? Yes. This allows us to have Masses said by priests who value this important, but sometimes overlooked, intention of the Universal Church. Stipend amounts for a Mass intention vary from parish to parish. In the Boston area, the suggested amount for a Mass stipend is about $10.00.

 

There are three (3) sources Brian uses to collect stipend money for our Mass intentions:

  1. He gathers empty cans and bottles from friends and family, who have no interest or use for them and redeems them at a local supermarket for cash.
  2. He gathers individual donations in multiples of $10.00 from friends and family who wish to have a Mass said for the Holy Souls.
  3. finally, he gather "pocket change" from anyone one who can't afford to make a $10.00 donation. We call this part of our program "Pennies from Heaven."

During the calendar year, at most parishes, Mass is offered up for a particular intention on various days. Brian calls or stops by the rectory to find out what Masses he can have scheduled to be said for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.  How far in advance we can schedule a Mass will vary from parish to parish. An important key to doing this successfully is developing a good relationship with the personnel at the rectory.

 

Most of the time, stipend money collected in one month, is used to schedule Masses for the Holy Souls for the next month. What you can and can't do will vary from parish to parish and diocese to diocese.

 

Brian has a very organized method for keeping track of Masses he has scheduled.

 

As a means of organizing his efforts, he uses:

    • a metal cash or security box
    • a deposit bag — most retail stores use to bring their revenues to the bank
    • a 8.5" x 11" yearly organizer (e.g. Day Minder, At-A-Glance) and
    • a contact book

The metal cash or security box and deposit box are used to secure donations made by friends and family as well money collected from his empty bottles and cans program.

 

The yearly planner he uses can be bought at any Staples or Office Max. He uses this to keep track of the Masses he schedules at the various parishes.

 

His contact book keeps the names and postal addresses of Churches he has worked with along with phone number and contact names of the people he talked to.

 

It's our hope that sharing the way Brian has organized his apostolate will assist you in starting and developing your own.