What is a Mass Intention?
In the Catholic Church, the various Masses that are celebrated in a parish can be given a specific purpose. The purpose that is assigned to a Mass is known as a Mass Intention. Such purposes can include the following:
- For a person who has died
- For the health of a person who is ill
- In thanksgiving to God for blessings received, including recovery from illness
- In thanksgiving and for God's blessing on the occasion of a couple's wedding anniversary
- In thanksgiving and for God's blessing on the occasion of a person's birthday
Parishioners contact the parish to indicate that they would like to "offer a Mass" for a specific person or purpose. Oftentimes, parishioners have a specific day and time in mind for offering a Mass. Preference for a particular date often relates to the day a death, or the day of the birthday or anniversary. Parishioners often prefer to request a Mass at a time that they normally attend Mass.
Once a Mass Intention is recorded, it appears in the Parish Bulletin the weekend before it is offered so that those in the community will be aware of it and can attend the Mass if they so desire. The intention of a Mass will also be mentioned during the Mass.
What Masses are available?
A Mass can be offered at any of the regularly-scheduled Masses that are celebrated at the parish, whether they are on weekdays or are Sunday Masses.
How much advance notice is necessary to get the Masses on the days and at the times that I want?
Masses are available on a first-come first-served basis. Weekend Masses fill up much more quickly than weekday Masses. For the best chance of getting the weekend Mass that you want, it is best to request it about nine months to a year in advance.
What if I really want a particular Mass, and it is already taken?
Of course, you are not always able to plan months in advance for Mass Intentions. Sometimes someone has recently passed away and you want to offer a Mass as soon as possible and on a special day. Then there are the times that a loved one's anniversary is coming, and someone else has already requested the Mass you want. Can anything be done?
Yes. In this situation, Canon Law asks the parish to do two things:
- The parish is to check to see if person who originally offered the Mass asked for a restriction to be placed on it stating that no one else can share the Mass. If this is the case, we must honor the wishes of the person who already offered the Mass and you will not be able to share it with him or her.
- If there is no restriction recorded, we can call the person who offered the Mass and see if he or she would agree to share it with you.
How do I offer a Mass?
Masses can be offered in one of three ways:
- You can offer a Mass on our online Mass Intention portal.
- The Mass Intentions Online portal allows you to view a calendar to see which Masses are available (highlighted in TEAL) and taken, and sign up for those that are available.
- You can request Masses from the comfort of your home.
- Once you have requested all of the Masses that you want at a particular time, you will be directed to a payment portal.
- You can come to the Parish Office when it is open and offer a Mass in person.
You can call the Parish Office at (510) 471-2609 and we can schedule your Mass over the phone.
What is the suggested offering?
The suggested offering for each Mass is $10.00.