Each year the priests of the Cathedral Parish offer a Novena of Masses for your All Souls Remembrance
envelopes. When you place the names of deceased members of your family along with friends and others, these
intentions are remembered as the Mass intention for the period from November 2-10. In addition, I ask the priests
to celebrate an additional three Masses each for these intentions.
Mass Intentions are a way that the Church invites the faithful to offer prayers for the dead as a corporal
work of mercy. (By the way, we know the abuses this caused that became one of the reasons leading to the
Protestant Reformation.) The Church has laws which guard the requests for Mass Intentions.
A priest is allowed to offer one Mass per day for a requested intention by the faithful. He is permitted to
receive only one offering per day for such intentions no matter how many Masses he may celebrate. If he does
receive an offering for additional Mass Intentions, these must be donated to a specific charity as set by the
Diocesan Bishop. The intention may be either for the dead (individual person or group) or for the living (again,
person or group). A “public intention” is one that the Church agrees to “announce” either by publication in the
parish bulletin or announced at the Mass. In the Diocese of St. Augustine, the latter is done through inclusion in the
General Intercessions at Mass.
It is important to know that no one “purchases” a Mass. Rather, a person makes an offering asking the
priest to replace the intention he may wish to offer with the one that is being requested. Mass Intentions are not
commodities. They are a sacred trust between the faithful and their priests.