(No, I’m not concerned about incense. While I’m sure there are people made ill by incense, this is not nearly as heavily concentrated a set of chemicals as the average cologne or perfume.)
I just called the local Diocese to ask who’s offering fragrance-free mass in town, and they acted like they’d never heard of such a thing. Since so many people are made severely ill (asthma attacks, migraine, seizures, vomiting, dizziness and falling, etc. etc. etc.) by cologne and perfume, it’s continually amazing to me how few people know that this is a major problem. It kept my mother from participating in Catholicism at all, and since I’ve been trying to return to the Church, I’ve been playing Goldilocks trying to find a seat where I can breathe (even at the early service, which is the least crowded).
This seems like an important enough issue for the U.S. Bishops to take it on. I’ve not seen a single Church in town that doesn’t have wheelchair access, so how come there aren’t any that offer even one fragrance-free mass? (The only reference I found on line was for one service at one church about 900 miles away.) I desperately miss the Church, and want to particpate, but how can I if doing so makes me Ill, or if I have to constantly change seats, or get up and leave in the middle of the service? Who needs that much constant stress, and none of it’s exactly conducive to contemplation.
I’ve not mentioned anything (yet) at my local parish because I’m already fighting this war in at work as a result of a heavy user who’s moved into my work area recently (and, yes, there’s a Union lawyer involved). I’m assuming best practice would be to not “go over anyone’s head”, but I don’t want to get a reputation as a trouble maker when I’m still one of the new kids and nervous about everything anyway.