Do you think our Catholic church need to get rid of stipends?


Dear Father David, what I like about Jesus’ teachings is that He asks us to use our brain, reasoning, common sense. If a request is unreasonable, I believe Jesus would say, just forget it… No matter what the laws say.
Principally I am not opposed to donation. Give more, much more, to the church who should give more to the poor. But not in the form of stipend. Stipend gives the impression of paying for God’s beautiful grace that is given free by Him.
I know all these discussions is just a dream. But dreaming is what makes people alive. And makes our church alive :blush:


Let’s be true Christians, kind hearted, and humble. Meekness and humility is what tells us apart from others :pray:


Oh I agree. And the suggested donation for Masses isn’t done just here, there are countries in Europe that do the same thing, it may be universal I don’t know. I don’t know who gets the money for this, the church, the Priest, both, but I personally doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me is the Mass intentions are said at some point.

I put a check in the plate at most of the Masses I go to, I try to put a little money in the poor box when I can. I have seen budget cuts and considerations personally at my church, partially because I have helped out and brought kids in before to help the church as a vocational project. I have no problems at all how things are done. It appears to be well planned and thought out. Stewardship is taken very seriously, and I have heard zero complaints.


My pastor drove a Lexus for a few years and he was intensely aware of criticism about it. It was 15 years old and on its last legs, a gift from a family member. It replaced jis previous vehicle, which he literally drove until it died.


Yeah. People are so cruel when they make assumptions.

I know a diocesan priest who bought a new fancy sports car outright. He saved for YEARS.

The parish was giving him absolute hell over it.

One Sunday he’d had enough.

He stopped in the middle of his homily when an old lady was whispering and asked her how much she drove in a week.

She meekly answered, “oh, Daily Mass and errands each day…20 minutes or so…so probably about 2.5 hours”

Then he asked another parishioner, "How much do you drive?"
He answered, “I commute about 35 minutes each way, but that’s really all I do, so about 5 or 6 hours”

He went on and asked three more people, and they answered in a similar fashion, “3 hours, 8 hours, 4 hours”

Then he looked at everyone and said, "I spend 40 or MORE hours a week in my vehicle. I bring Communion to the sick. I go to the nursing home across town every day. I’m at the hospital at midnight for an emergency Baptism, and I’m back again at 3 in the morning because someone’s parent is dying. I go up to the Chancellory every other week—that’s an hour each way—and I drive all across town for the food pantry, or for someone’s great aunt Gerta or for whatever reason.

I do it all out of love.

And I love every moment of it.

But I spend an inordinate amount of time in my car. I do it for you.

Are you REALLY going to begrudge me because I saved to buy this car for 10 years? Because I want to enjoy the ride?

What is it to you?"

He turned on his heels and continued with Mass.

The church was dead silent.

NO ONE complained about his sports car after that.


Here is the problem.

A few posts back, you questioned why you give $300 to the diocese but the diocese only gives $200 to the Missions.

The problem is that you don’t know that they are keeping the $100. You only assume they are keeping it based on the fact that the Missions only ask $200 for 30 Masses. No one actually told you that the diocese is keeping the money. No one told you the diocese is only sending $200, you only think that’s what is happening.

I tried to explain to you what is the typical procedure. I tried to explain that the most likely scenario is that the diocese sends all $300.

I understand your question. It makes perfect sense. However, this standard procedure also makes perfect sense, and is how most diocese operate.

You don’t actually know that anything is being done improperly, but you still make what amounts to an accusation in your post. That’s what I find troubling.


What is unclear to you about Mass stipends?

Maybe it’s the term itself?

A stipend is a donation given to a priest for celebrating a Mass for a particular intention (such as for a person living or dead). It’s a very small donation that goes to the priest personally (unless he’s taken a vow of poverty). It’s typically $10 to $20.

So again, what part is “unclear”? If we understand that part, we can try to make it clear.


It’s not about “unreasonable.” If something is completely free, people would be asking for Mass intentions more often than they can be scheduled. Asking for a small donation (while always offering free Masses for those who cannot or choose not to pay anything) is just one way to keep the number from being unmanageable (not to the extreme of unreasonable, but too many to manage). If people know they’re expected to give a little something, they only ask for it when they really want it.

There is no working around the fact that the number of available Masses is limited.

Every parish is required by canon law to have at least one weekly Mass pro populum for the intentions of the parish—all the intentions, and with no stipend involved.


I’m sorry you’re troubled, but if i’d gotten some type of reasonable explanation, similar to what you provided, when I called the Diocesan office and talked to someone for 10 minutes about this matter, then this whole discussion would not have come up.

I think I will leave it at that, as I am leaving this discussion.


That is not your decision to make.


And in those cases, the reason why it was able to occur was that the parishes weren’t following the guidelines in place. There is a distinct set of processes that create a chain of custody with methods in place to ensure accountability and security. If a parish doesn’t follow those guidelines, though… :man_shrugging:


Yes, a valid concern.


I read that. It was a one-liner in a homily and hardly evidence of the Pope’s position, other than, Churches should not be supermarkets.


Yes. I remember sitting in line for confession and seeing a donation box on display that said “Alms for Father Ron.” That chilled me.


Gee. That chills me just reading about it.


Reading some of the anecdotes here, I do not doubt the Holy Father is right to call into question any thing with even a whiff of simony. There sure seem to be some practices that push the limits. On the other hand, we shouldn’t really judge from a distance. Financing a parish is always sort of a balancing act. Without funds, there would be no parish, no priest and no Sacraments. On the other hand, they should be offered without price. Do we go to a third collection next?


Right. I would much prefer that there be no “charge” for anything a parish does, but it’s necessary to do in many cases. In an ideal world, every Catholic would give generously and the parish wouldn’t have to charge for anything, not even for kids to go to Catholic school. We’re not there, though. At least, not at my parish.

Even if that ideal were reached, though, I think Mass stipends would still be needed for the reasons Fr. David outlined above. I can think of a few people in my parish who might pull up their genealogy online and print out a list of all their ancestors going back 500 years and ask the priest to say a Mass for each one of them. And when he finishes the list, he can start back at the top again. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: There’s just not enough hours in the day.


“How I long for a poor church for the poor,” said Pope Francis. Let’s follow him. He chooses a small apartment instead of living in Vatican. He chooses a small car instead of limousine that he deserves. Poverty is in the center of the gospel. :pray:


The early church has no money, no political connection, no political power, and yet it spreads all over the world. … The early church… That’s what Pope Francis longs for.


Yes, you are paying for their time, effort, labor, expertise, which comes from their human agency. You cannot pay for the Sacrament which comes from God.

Expecting or even demanding to get everything for free disregards the value of their service.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit