So it’s time for the annual appeal at church for the Society for the Propogation of the Faith. My husband and I have an envelope that says: “Society for the Propogation of the Faith Memberships”, and then it says: “Ordinary–one person, living or deceased-- $10.00”, “Family $20.00”, Perpetual (Individual) $50.00", and “Perpetual (Family) $150.00”. I don’t think I’ve payed much attention to this in the past and have just checked, “Individual” and given $10.00, even though my husband and I are both practicing Catholics (our children are grown). My husband wants me to give $10.00 again, but I’m starting to feel guilty for checking “individual membership” when we are two people. Also, I’m reading on the internet in various places that members are offered a certain number of masses every year and also have the obligation to recite certain prayers. Now, as someone who is scrupulous, I really don’t want the obligation to say certain prayers everyday. Can we just give a donation without becoming members? Should we forgo giving at all? I have an examination of conscience that asks, “Have I, on un-Christian principles, refused to give any aid to missionaries working for the salvation of abandoned souls, though I could have given without great sacrifice?” under mortal sins. So, I’m sort of stuck between, "If I don’t give (and we CAN easily do so), then It may be a grave sin. On the other hand, if we do give, I may have obligations as a member that I don’t want to have (b/c of my fear of breaking an oath). Can we just give on World Mission Sunday in October (which we do anyway) and forget about being members of the Society for the Propogation of the Faith, or are we as Catholics bound to become members of this society? I know it’s hard to believe that someone could make such a dilemma out of this, but if anyone can, it’s me. I want to do the “right” thing, but I don’t know what the “right” thing is in this case.
If this organization is not your cup of tea, then simply pass on it and seek out one of the numerous other charities that are also in need. I don’t think that scruples has anything to do with it - it sounds more like a well-formed conscience to me. If active membership or enrollment requires or expects that you perform certain things, then you have an obligation to do them.
this is over annalizing, just give as you have in the past and let it be and don’t worry about it. I am very sure that any money received will be greatly appreciated.
The amounts are recommendations and nothing more. You could check off “Family,” cross out $20, write in $10, and enclose $10. You get to decide whether you want to donate, and how much. I am sure they appreciate any amount.
Edit: Oh wait. I just read your OP more closely and, in my opinion, if membership in this society comes with certain perks and requirements, you may be better off not joining, because it will stir up your scruples. If you wish to support their organization, perhaps you could make an anonymous donation, so there are no strings attached for you.
Thank you. Your words actually gave me encouragement. The last couple of times I’ve posted on CAF, I haven’t posted, “Was this a mortal sin?” but rather, “I’m looking to do the right thing–can you give me some advice?” I have discovered that when you give to World Mission Sunday in October, 90% of the proceeds go to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. Therefore, I have decided that rather than give $10.00 to become a member of the society (which may obligate me to do certain things), I will simply strive to donate $20.00 on World Mission Sunday.