Perpetual enrollment?


I am not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, but…
My mother died in 2002 (as a Seventh-day Adventist) and at her funeral some of her patients (Catholics) gave me a little folder with a picture on one side and her name along with some information on the opposite side. I was not familiar with anything Catholic at the time ( and didn’t pay much attention…) so eventually it was either lost or thrown away.

Now I am very much concerned with what this document was. I am not familiar with everything that Catholics do/give once someone dies. My question is, was this a perpetual enrollment for her soul? or could it have been something else I’m not yet familiar with?


Religious Orders , such as the Franciscans, the Redemptorists, Carmelites etc. support themselves by farming, growing their own crops, like growing and selling mushrooms, baking fruitcakes and chocolates etc. making and selling works of religious art etc. as well as by donations. Mass Cards are also a means of supporting these religious orders. In exchange for your donation, they promise to pray for your intentions. There are Mass Cards for various intentions, including Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary and Sympathy for the deceased. Sometimes Mass Cards promise one Mass, sometime a novena of Masses (9 days) and sometimes it offers a Perpetual Enrollment, like that of the Golden Arrow of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. I understood this perpetual enrollment to be forever once enrolled. However, when reading the explanation on the Franciscans perpetual enrollment, it states that the perpetual enrollment is for Masses throughout the year. So I guess you would need to read each card for specific promises. Usually a Memorial Mass Card for the deceased is for one Mass unless otherwise stated that it is for a novena of Masses or a perpetual enrollment. I hope I explained this well.


It was most likely a perpetual enrollment for her soul. Many Catholics, myself included, keep a stack of these beautiful folders in case of need. For those who don’t know what I am talking about, some religious communities will offer Masses for the souls of the deceased for an offering. Sometimes there is a time limit, such remembrance at their Masses for the next ten years, other times it is forever, as long as the community is in existence, thus the term “perpetual enrollment.” Praying for the dead is a time-honored Catholic custom, and the beautiful folders are a comfort to relatives. When someone passes away, I send in their name and the offering to the religious community, and then I send the folder to the family. It doesn’t matter that you lost the folder, your mother is still being remember at Holy Mass.


Very likely.

It’s possible it was a promise for a specific number of Masses at a specific parish but I would guess perpetual enrollment.


Thank you for those explanations. Now I wish I still had it so I could see what kind it was. :slight_smile:


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