Are church envelopes proof of being a Catholic?

Are church envelopes proof of being a Catholic? I was recently confronted by family members saying they have been dropped from the rolls of their parishes. This, after 20–40 years of contributing to one parish or another. They are now older, some travel throughout the U. S. and no longer feel an affiliation to any particular parish.

It is their understanding that the parish priest will not offer a funeral Mass for them as they are no longer members of the parish. They have therefore decided to be cremated, their family will host a “celebration of life” at a local restaurant or park, with interment at a military or another cemetery. And many of their children and grandchildren feel they too will not be identified as practicing Catholics if they do not use parish envelopes!

My, your family has indeed turned a molehill into a mountain, haven’t they? Simply because a parish did not know if your family members should still be on the parish mailing list—and chose to err on the side of saving postage for the parish and hassle for people who may no longer attend that parish—your family has instead divined nefarious motive and now is planning to thumb their collective noses at being buried as Catholics.

Did no one in your family think to call up the parish and ask to be put back on the envelope mailing list? Or did they simply see being dropped from the mailing list as a handy excuse for dropping out of the Church entirely?

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