OK by technicality?

I went to Mass at my usually very reverent home parish today. But that quickly changed when the pastor of the parish, who was not the celebrant, took over the homily and talked about “Commitment Sunday.” It’s a thing the parish does every year where everyone signs a pledge card stating that they are going to donate a certain amount of money for the upcoming year.

Father had one person from every household raise their hand so that an usher could come by and give us an envelope. Inside the envelope was a pledge card and a pen, and Father gave us instructions on how to fill it out. When we were all done, he had the ushers collect the envelopes. While they were collecting envelopes, Father gave a short homily on the Gospel reading, but it only lasted about 2 minutes (the amount of time it took for the ushers to collect the envelopes).

Since he technically gave a homily, was he justified in interrupting the Mass to have us fill out pledge cards? I want to (charitably) voice my concern over such a practice, but I want to have some documents that I can cite showing that such interruptions should not happen.

Any ideas?

It would have been better to do this after Communion, but if it only happens once a year and your Masses are usually very reverent, count your blessings.

The title of your thread says it all: OK by technicality.

You can still voice your concerns to the pastor, though.

There are times I have to do this sort of thing myself (we do have to pay the bills), but personally I do it right after the final blessing, and I give a brief homily to make-up for the time (a brief homily also puts people into a better mood!)–that’s just me.

It would have been better if he had waited until after the final Blessing to do this. But then he would have missed the half that had already left for the parking lot.:smiley:

Don’t even bring it up. They’ve done it every year this way for a long time, I’m sure, and they’re not going to change because one person objects. What will change will be how they look at you and how seriously they take your comments. At some time in the future, if something serious comes up, your words will already have lost value because of this.

In other words, pick your battles. And don’t pick this one.


It is a nessicery thing. Without money the parish folds & the work of the Bishop drys up. Once a year we get reminded. I do not like it, but I guess we gotta do it :rolleyes:

I hope you got something out of the homily, no matter how brief it was, and weren’t so upset at the request for money that you lost your ability to focus at Mass.

It wasn’t just your parish. I’m in the same diocese as you and it happened at every parish, and it happens again every fall. It’s only money, right? :wink:

What’s your alternative to asking for a pledge commitment during Mass? Why would your alternative would work better, cost less, and result in more financial pledges for the work of the parish?

I think that when we have a complaint about Plan A, we should always have a “Plan B” ready. Our Plan B should be cheaper, easier, and obtain better or at least equal results to the Plan that we dislike.

I’m guessing that mail campaigns or email campaigns result in virtually no pledges because people just throw the post card away. I’m guessing that phone campaigns don’t work because they are too labor intensive and very discouraging for the volunteers who keep getting the phone slammed down, or rude replies, or told that “we are no longer attending a Catholic Church,” etc.

I honestly think that when it comes to collecting finances, the Mass is the perfect time. After all, we are supposed to make a commitment to Jesus during the Mass, as we walk forward to join Him. Perhaps the timing of the request for pledges could be tinkered with to make it less distracting, but as someone else said, if you ask after Holy Communion, you’d better lock the gates in the parking lot to stop people from zipping out of the church!

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