If I requested Masses for an ex-Catholic, should I let him know?

A family member’s father is suffering from advanced cancer. He is also a former Catholic who left the Church years ago to join a protestant denomination. I recently enrolled him in a “guild” where the friars of a particular religious order will offer Mass for him and others with cancer once a month. The enrollment came with a card that could be sent to him, notifying him that Mass is being offered for him.

Would you send the card to him, given the circumstances? I am leaning toward not doing so and just continuing to pray for him. Usually that is what I have done in the past when I have requested Masses for non-Catholics, but am interested to know what others think.

I suppose it depends on how receptive you think he would be to the idea of having Masses said for him.

I think I would also lean towards not sending the card to him. But if you think he might be open to the idea, it’s worth a try.

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Most people with advanced illnesses are happy for prayers. I’d say tell him.


I think it would be fine to tell him as long as you know him well enough to know he doesn’t have a deep animosity towards the Church, or is creeped out by it. Sometimes it helps to consider how you would feel if, say someone of some faith you didn’t believe in, told you they were performing a ceremony on behalf of hoping it would help you deal with your illness. Although, truthfully, I don’t know that it is a good measure. Everyone is different.

I think the important thing is for you to let the ill person know you are “in their corner and pulling for them”, so to speak (whatever that mean to them).

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I wouldn’t send the card. If you see him, you could tell him you are praying for him.
If he seems to like that idea, you might show him the card as a next step.

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I would send it. Since he is still Christian, I don’t see how he would mind knowing he is being prayed for. All things considered, he may appreciate it.

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It actually may open the door for a return to the Sacraments to prepare for his death.


This is what is important. It may be a long shot. But what is there to lose, worse case he is offended that you would do this, the benefits of the masses will still accrue to him.

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