Sorry, but the teaching I received was along the lines of the EWTN article, of which you are being quite overly dismissive IMHO.
I go to Mass almost every day, so I can certainly offer intentions there, but if I can also have a Mass said for a specific person, they are getting an additional benefit, as they are remembered at both the Mass I am at and the Mass that I usually cannot be at because it is in Asia or something.
Perpetual Mass enrollments provide prayers for a person for years, which may include after I am deceased.
I think the priests told you what they did because this idea of “having a Mass said” for someone is a delicate one.
First, they don’t want to give the idea that Masses are bought and sold. We’ve been over this on the forums many times.
Second, they want to be sensitive to the needs of people who do not have the money to pay for a Mass. Otherwise it appears that the people who do have money to pay for a Mass, or for many Masses, have some spiritual advantage.
Third, given the priest shortage in a lot of Western countries, it can be very hard for a person to reserve a Mass at the particular parish because there aren’t enough Masses to go around. Not everyone is aware of or comfortable with the practice of sending a donation to a distant monastery or to the missions far away, and having a Mass said in that manner.
For all these reasons, the priests do not push the idea of “paying for a Mass”, but among those of us who are in a financial position to donate to the Church anyway, I just see it as me making a donation that I should be making anyway, so why not get the benefit of the Mass for someone as well, if it is available. I made a donation to a church a few months ago because they were kind enough to send a deacon out to pray at my late husband’s memorial service. I just made it as a gift without asking for anything, and the deacon without asking me scheduled five Masses for my husband. Many churches and orders are happy to take these donations and happy to say the Masses.
And there are still priests in some parts of the world who rely heavily on the daily Mass stipends for their actual upkeep and living expenses. So if everyone stopped having Masses said, these priests might have difficulty supporting themselves.
So, I will be continuing with my practice of having Masses said for people as well as offering the intention myself at the Mass I personally attend, which may be in some other part of the country.
It is fine if you do not wish to do this practice, but I hope others will not be discouraged from it just because you apparently think it’s unnecessary.