“What can we do to pray for a loved one, living or deceased, or how can we do something to honor or memorialize them at the Cathedral?” This is a common question for us, especially after the death of a loved one.
To have a Mass or several Masses offered for a person who is deceased is an ancient and commendable practice. A Mass is offered to pray for a person that he/she may be at peace in heaven. Since each Mass is of infinite value, requesting one or several Masses is of tremendous benefit for the person prayed for as well as for the family, knowing that their intention is joined with the prayer of the Church.
Every Mass is a wonderful gift from God to us. It is the center of the Church’s life, “the source and summit of the Christian life” because, in the celebration of the Mass, we are brought back to Jesus’ Last Supper, the first Mass celebrated. We consciously recall the love of God poured out for us in the life, death and resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ. At each Mass, all the intentions of all God’s people, both living and dead, are included. Yet, “in the established tradition of the Church, the faithful, moved by an ecclesial and religious sense, join to the eucharistic sacrifice a kind of sacrifice of their own, as a way of taking part more intensely. They thus do their share to provide for the Church’s needs, especially the support of its ministers…” (Pope Paul VI, motu proprio “Firma in Traditione”)
This Policy for Mass Intentions is issued so that this parish’s practice of Mass Intentions and Mass Offerings will be in conformity with the universal law of the Church and the “General Policy for Mass Intentions” of the Diocese of Shreveport (of January 1992). Though no policy can fully address all the spiritual, theological and practical issues associated with Mass Intentions and Mass Offerings, the following will regulate all Mass Intentions requested at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans:
1. Anyone may request a Mass Intention for:
• a person who is living,
• a person who is deceased,
• members of a given family (not all names will be listed or mentioned from the altar),
• a special intention appropriate to the celebration of the Eucharist, e.g., World Peace, Vocations, Respect for Life, etc.
2. The Church allows only one intention per Mass. In each parish, however, one or two Masses per week may have Collective Mass Intentions. The faithful are free to combine their intentions and offerings for the celebration of a single Mass, as long as they have been previously informed and have freely consented to combining their intention and offering with others in a single offering of Mass. The Collective Mass Intentions also accommodate the immediate needs that arise for which a person wishes to request a Mass Intention; for example, the death of a loved one, or an impending surgery, etc. At St. John’s, the Masses with Collective Mass Intentions are normally the Saturday vigil Mass and the 12:05 pm Wednesday Mass.
3. At this Cathedral Parish many people request Mass Intentions. In consideration of the needs of the parish and of others interested in having a Mass Intention, an individual can request a maximum of five (5) Masses on specific dates for any particular person or need per calendar year. Additional Mass Intentions will be scheduled, based on the needs of the parish. They may be included with Collective Mass Intentions or may be sent to a priest of another parish (or in the missions) who will be able to satisfy the request in a timely manner. If the specific date and time is already taken, a different time must be chosen.
4. A Mass Intention can only be requested for a Mass that will be celebrated within twelve (12) months from the date of the request.
5. Mass Intentions & Sanctuary Lights (together with donation) are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
6. The date of a Mass Intention is subject to change.
7. One Mass Intention per Mass, except for Wednesday and Saturday Masses which include multiple intentions.
8. Currently, the suggested offering is $5.00 per Mass. A Mass Offering may be more than the suggested offering and it may be less, if the person requesting the Mass is not in the financial position to make the customary Mass Offering.
9. Mass Intentions (scheduled at least three weeks before the Mass) are published in our bulletin.
10. Though the Mass Intention need not be announced at the Mass, the priest, if possible, will announce the Mass Intention within the context of that Mass.
11. The one requesting the Mass Intention may request that a card be sent to notify a person that the Intention has been requested and the date and time of the Mass (one card per intention).
12. The name of the person(s) requesting the Mass is not listed in the bulletin or announced at Mass.
If you have any questions regarding Mass Intentions, please feel free to call the church office.
Suggestions for ways to remember your loved ones, living or deceased:
Gift to the Cathedral Memorial Fund – donations help with the cost of items needed at Mass such as vestments, altar cloths, sacred vessels, etc.
Flower Arrangements on the Cathedral Altar can be placed in Honor or Memory of a person – $100 donation and Memorial is published in our Bulletin
Sanctuary Candle in the Cathedral – $10 donation and Memorial is published in our Bulletin
Sanctuary Candle in St. Michael Chapel – $10 donation and Memorial is published in our Bulletin
Cathedral Building Fund – all gifts help with the maintenance of church facilities and grounds
Memorial Brick in the Prayer Garden – $100 donation brick placed around the fountain in the Prayer Garden between the Cathedral and Church Office
Student Scholarship Fund – donations help our students whose families need tuition assistance
Note: You ma request that notification of your gift be mailed to the family.