MASS OFFERINGS through Aid to the Church in Need (ACN)

Priests regularly use Mass offerings received through ACN to help the poor and those in need in their local parishes. Many of the Priests and people supported by ACN are persecuted and suffer daily for their Christian faith. Stipends received through Mass offerings from our benefactors help Priests to continue their pastoral activities. Priests are enabled to support their local community to create a world in which Christianity can thrive. Mass stipends provided to ACN by our benefactors are used to support impoverished Priests in some of the poorest parts of the world. Many of the Priests we help rely solely on Mass stipends as a source of income for basic sustenance. The Priests we support are always grateful for our benefactor’s offerings and recognise the immense privilege of celebrating Masses for our benefactor’s intentions.

Understanding MASS OFFERINGS

The custom of giving an offering for the celebration of Holy Mass has been a constant ecclesiastical practice, which goes back to the early Church, when the faithful brought bread and wine for the celebration of the Holy Mass and other gifts for the support of Priests and the poor.

In this way, the Christian faithful expressed their desire to participate more intimately in the Eucharistic sacrifice and add to it a form of sacrifice of their own by which they contribute in a particular way to the needs of the Church and especially to the sustenance of its Ministers and works of mercy.

Formerly, this contribution consisted predominantly in gifts of kind.  In our day, it has become almost exclusively monetary. However, the motive and purpose of the faithful’s donation have remained the same. The practice and administration of the offerings for the celebration of Holy Mass are very accurately sanctioned by the new Code of Canon Law. (CIC 945-958).

Mass stipends given through ACN help poor Priests in need around the world with basic subsistence, including housing, food, clothing, heating, medication, hygiene, and transportation. In some dioceses, Priests use Mass offerings to pay their health and social security insurance. Very often, Priests use their Mass stipends for poor and needy people in their parishes and to finance their pastoral activities.

Mass offerings are also used to support the formation in the Congregations and diocesan seminaries, or for further studies of the Priest, particularly for their books. Mass offerings can help Priests, too, with spiritual retreats and pilgrimages. For countless Priests around the world, Mass offerings are the only source of income they have.

Thousands of Priests from all over the world request Mass stipends each year from ACN through their Bishops or Superiors. Most of these Priests serve in countries where Christians are discriminated, oppressed and persecuted. Or in places where the faithful are so poor that they cannot provide even a basic living for their Priests. For all of these priests, Mass stipends are most often the only source of income while several times also represent an important resource for their evangelisation efforts. Therefore, Mass stipends join together the two great works of mercy: prayer and almsgiving.

These Priests, many whose lives are in danger each day just by living the faith, deeply appreciate the generosity of donors and consider it a profound honor to be celebrating Masses for their benefactors’ intentions weather for healing, for the deceased and for special intentions.

Apart from single Masses, the Priests we support celebrate Triduum, Novena and Gregorian Masses. Triduum Masses are three (3) Masses celebrated on three consecutive days; Novenas are nine (9) Masses said on nine consecutive days; and Gregorian Masses are celebrated on 30 consecutive days for one deceased person. These Masses of three, nine and 30 do not have to be celebrated by a single individual Priest; instead, a number of Priests may share in them.

Mass stipends are intended to secure the immediate livelihood of missionary Priests and their parishes in poor countries. As a basic principle, 100% of the Mass stipends are forwarded to the intended recipients.

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Aid to the Church in Need is a Pontifical Foundation of the Catholic Church and registered in Malta Reg. No. LPF-212 as a Foundation regulated by the second schedule of the Civil Code Chapter (16) of the Laws of Malta.


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