Request a Mass for General Intentions and Healing Your Family Tree
To complete your Mass request online, including your intentions and preferred dates, and pay with a credit card or PayPal:
Mass Stipend Information
The priest assigned for each Mass stipend (usually distributed among the 10 priests in our local community) has the intention of celebrating the Mass(es) for the stipend donor’s intention(s); that is called a “virtual” intention, since the priest may not know or think of what the donor’s specific intention is. But his general intent is to include, along with the petitioner’s wishes, whatever God sees should be added to that stipendiary intention (making it a far broader and more significant prayer-intention, of course).
The priest’s virtual intention to pray for the stipend-donor’s wishes does not need to be recalled by the celebrating priest; he intends in general whatever the donor intends, and he intends the sequence in which various intentions were presented for multiple Masses. If the stipend donor later changes the intention, expands it, or changes the desired sequence of several Mass intentions, that is paralleled by the celebrant’s “virtual” intention to offer the Mass for whatever the donor intends at the time of the celebrated Mass(es).
Each Mass, as the re-enactment of Jesus’ redemptive act of Calvary, has an infinite value, intrinsically. But extrinsically, it is not infinite in application, since that depends on the faith of the petitioner. The Mass with its infinite value in God’s eyes is not infinite in terms of its spiritual application; it is spiritually effective only in proportion to one’s faith. The quality of one’s faith is a major determinant in the outcome of any petition prayer, as Jesus teaches (Mark 11:23-24). The Mass is the greatest of all prayers, but it is subject to that same faith-proportionate principle for its ultimate effects.
Each Mass makes available an infinite ocean of graces. But some persons “dip into the ocean,” as it were, with a teaspoon, others a cup, others a bucket, tub, or vat. Jesus’ words are appropriate: “Be it done to you according to your faith” (Matt. 9:29). Very few humans have the “mountain-moving” faith that Jesus urged us to have. Hence, to compensate for our human weakness in faith, many people request multiple Masses, such as a triduum (3) or novena (9), or a series of monthly Masses, etc. But ultimately, the stipend petitioners get out of the Mass what they “put into” it; it’s proportionate to their faith-expectancy.
Canon Law provides for severe penalties for “trafficking” in stipends; so priests are generally required to celebrate no more than one Mass for each stipend. Hence, multiple stipends from a number of people cannot be applied to one individual Mass—unless all participating petitioners explicitly agree to that “shared” arrangement. A single petitioner may have multiple intentions for the same stipend (e.g., a Mass for the welfare of all of one’s children and/or relatives, or for past and future generations, or for the Poor Souls in Purgatory).
It is important to keep in mind that a stipend is not a “payment” for Masses. But a Mass stipend (usually between $10 and $50 per Mass) is a customary free-will offering to the priest by the petitioner as a sacrifice, by which a person seeks to share in the sacrifice the priest offers—the Sacrifice of the Mass. Old Testament priests (Levites) were supported, not by allotment of assets, but by ministering the altar sacrifice (see Josh. 13:14 and Deut. 10:9). By stipend-offerings the laity’s priesthood mingles with the celebrant’s ministerial priesthood; together they “offer spiritual sacrifices to God” (1 Pet. 2:5).
Since we Claretian Missionaries have the vow of poverty, we can’t keep stipends for our personal use. All our incoming stipends are directed to help the poor of our missions overseas. Stipends can be submitted to our CTM ministry by check, cash, or credit card (Visa or MasterCard, Discover & American Express(online-only)), and they may be submitted by mail or fax at: 310-782-8892, or phone at: 310-782-6408.
With ten priests in this religious community, we can distribute the petitioners’ intentions in such a way that most Mass requests can be scheduled within a week or two (unlike most parishes, which are booked up for a year or more in advance). If you have particular dates in mind, like birthdays, anniversaries, feast days, etc. let us know your preferences. Also, please let us know if you want an acknowledgement or not, and, if you don’t mind, restate your email address and/or phone number with each request. Feel free to present the info either by letter, email or phone, if you prefer. Also, you may request Masses online by clicking here.
Some parishes announce publicly each Mass intention before celebrating (often to satisfy the vanity of petitioners who like public recognition as a parish contributor). Such listings require expensive and time-consuming secretarial bookkeeping, which is not feasible where bureaucracy is not a priority.
When I receive Mass requests I usually assign a date or dates if the petitioner hasn’t already done so and I notify and thank the petitioner promptly unless the petitioner says, “No need to reply,” I very rarely forget to notify the petitioner, but more often it happens that my emailed notification ends up being “spam filtered” on the recipient’s computer; if the stipend donors neglect to check their spam list, they may never know that I sent an acknowledgement. Likewise, my phone-messages are often not picked up by the recipients. (Many people miss important phone and email messages because of this neglect, not only with regard to stipends, but also other kinds of important messages.) Also my stipend acknowledgements are sometimes received by a family member who neglects to notify the one who sent the stipend.
I submit all monetary stipends and assigned Mass dates to the provincial stipend collector for registration, for priest-celebrant assignment, and for the stipend-offering to be sent to our missions for the support of the poor. With hundreds of stipends coming in every month, it’s extremely difficult, once that registration process is initiated, to retrieve the information for any petitioner who may present follow-up questions or instructions. Please remember that God knows your exact intentions and His own expanded-intentions at the time the Mass is actually offered.
Thank you for your devotion to the Eucharist and for your interest in submitting stipends that will be used to help the poor of our missions. Let us pray for one another. God bless you and your loved ones.
John H. Hampsch, C.M.F.
If you wish to mail in a Mass request with a check, send your request to the address below and make your check out to CTM.
Claretian Teaching Ministry
20610 Manhattan Place, Suite 120
Torrance, CA 90501-1863