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Mass Stipends at St. Mary Magdalene Parish - Fr. Kelly

Mass stipends are offerings given by the faithful when they request that a Mass be offered for a specific intention. They are intended as part of the faithful’s direct support of the priest, and are not tax-deductable donations to the parish. The faithful do not have to give any money to the priest for the celebration of a Mass for their intentions. But custom and good manners suggest that some mark of appreciation be made. 

1. Only one stipend can be taken for each Mass, and the Mass must be offered for that intention, alone. A priest is only allowed to retain one Mass stipend per day, unless he has permission to celebrate three Masses on any Sunday, in which case he may retain two Mass stipends. 

2. The pastor here at St. Mary Magdalene parish will never refuse to offer a Mass because a small amount of money is offered for the stipend.  

3. Pro populo Masses. In each parish, the pastor has the obligation to offer one Mass for the people of the parish on every Sunday and holy day of obligation, for which he should not receive a stipend. 

4. The appearance of trafficking in sacraments is to be avoided; and access by the poor to have Masses offered for their intentions is to be preserved. However the custom of $10 per Mass should be followed as a guideline.  

5. Where a priest celebrates a Funeral Mass, it is considered appropriate for the family to give a gift to the priest. That gift may be given through the funeral home or directly. That gift is normally in the range $50-$150. It is a gift rather than a fee. Families are free to make their own decisions. 

6. Where families have a baptism, the custom is that they would give a gift to the priest or deacon. That gift is normally in the range $50-$100. It is a gift rather than a fee. Families are free to make their own decisions. They may also make a donation to the parish.

7. I have often been asked if people from outside the parish can get baptized or married here. Of course they can. But they are expected to make a donation to the parish of $300. It is also custom that they give a gift to the priest or deacon who presides.

8. For the celebration of a quincinera, families from the parish do not need to make a donation to the Church. But if the family does not come to Mass here at St. Mary Magdalene parish on a regular basis, then they must provide a donation of $100 to the parish. It is also expected that the family will make a gift to the priest or deacon.

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