"Wish-granting" novena pamphlets at our parish


Recently I noticed a growing number of these kinds of pamphlets in our parish bookshelf (they keep it inside the adoration chapel):


Must be prayed 6 times each day for 9 consecutive days. Leave 9 copies in Church each day.



…followed by a (legit) set of prayers…

Leave 9 copies in Church each day for 9 consecutive days. You will RECEIVE YOUR INTENTION on or before the 9th day NO MATTER HOW IMPOSSIBLE. Pray in faith.

Obviously this isn’t (ironically) praying in faith but rather superstition but I’m surprised and saddened at how they keep stacking up. People are actually falling for this thing. There are even versions that threaten the reader. (Our Lady will burn you if you ignore this message!) Every church that I go within the city seems to have at least five of these sort of novenas.

There’s also a SSPX 2003 edition magazine in the shelf. It gave an in-depth denouncement of ecumenism as heresy and disgusting sacrilege. Very powerful for someone who’s not aware of SSPX’s canonical status.

How should I address this? I’d like to write a letter to our priest but I’m not sure how to compose it. Or if I should write a letter at all.



Looking to answers to this too…:rolleyes:


Why not just speak to the priest? He probably doesn’t know about them. If they’re in parishes all over your area, perhaps the bishop is the one needing to write a letter.


This should not be…it is leading people into error. So many are so vulnerable and need instruction about such things. The priest needs to know. People need to know HOW TO PRAY!


From how you describe them, they sound like some sort of religious chain-letter. Not a good thing, IMO.


I found an online copy of the pamphlet if anyone’s interested. (attached)

Our priest is a busy man. I guess I’ll try, but I’m much more comfortable with writing.

I have no idea how to get to the bishop xD

That is true :frowning:

And worse than most other conventional chain letters because it leads people to also pray for the wrong purpose.

What do you guys think about the SSPX magazine? Is it worth mentioning too?


Why not write the bishop and send a copy of the pamphlet along with the letter so he knows what you’re talking about. I imagine a mailing address would be available on the diocesan website.


It is most important to mention the SSPX magazine and what it has to say as well.

May the Lord bless you and lead you to how to handle this! We need more Catholics to point out these things - we too are the Body of Christ. and when it is hurting by these falsehoods we all suffer!

You are in my prayers!


Our pastor told me if I see any of that I should take it out and throw it away. Also anything to do with Fatima Crusader. So I keep an eye out for it. God Bless, Memaw


You only need to take a sample of all offending material and leave it at the parish office to the attention of your priest. Ask for permission to throw it away whenever you see it again. There are many, many misguided people out there who honestly believe that they are doing you a favor leaving this material and unless you can catch them placing it there this may be the only way to stop it.


Most definitely bring both pamphlets to the attention of the pastor.

Don’t “tell” him what to do; or ask him if you should do anything in particular. Just let him know that you found these in the chapel. Let him decide how to handle it from there.


I agree with everyone who thinks this has to stop; it’s superstitious, not a worthy devotion.

I know our already-too-busy priest wouldn’t appreciate yet another task dumped on him, so I’d do my part by finding out who is doing it and trying to stop it there first. If the “guilty” party refuses to knock it off, at least you could then tell the priest who is doing it. I bet you could easily get to the bottom of who is doing this, if you’re willing to ask around.

Please remember that this person most likely believes they are doing good. I had much the same problem, and after removing the false materials too many times, I paid attention to when they reappeared and after Mass let out, I asked every single person. It was a real sweetie who received it on her email and only wanted to share it…


Bring this to the attention of the pastor and let him decide what to do.

Do not try to do anything about this yourself.


No, a parishioner should not do this, because it is the priest who has the authority to do it. If he is too busy to do it himself, he can delegate it, but he might decide to delegate it to someone else.

When we take it upon ourselves to do something which only a person in authority should do, it can cause a lot of problems.

I have seen this same sort of thing. One time, I just asked the priest after Mass about the material and it was quickly whisked away! Another time In a different church I mentioned something and the priest left it in because he thought the information was important and not related to the organization which put it out.


This needs to be addressed by the Pastor. In the past when this has happened in my Parish; the Pastor has made announcements & posting in the weekly bulletin regarding such.


Yes, you are right! The pastor should always be asked to be sure. Mea Culpa!

(I left out the part that our priest always just says “take care of it”. It was a silly “St. Therese will grant your wish…” chain letter-type thing and I’m the chapel cleaner… So I kinda knew.) But, the devil’s in the details as they say…:shrug:


Sr. Pastor feels that these fall under superstition, when these show up in our pews the ushers have instructions to pull them and bring them to the sacristy… where two or three of us along with the deacon(s) will pray for the peoples intentions (provided the material is in accords with the teachings of the Church, junk is just tossed and we do get alot of anti-christian junk - why :shrug:) and then we toss them… occasionally we’ll go out and light a prayer candle for them - especially around the holidays.


In one parish where I worked, one of the priests and I had a contest each week to see how many we could find. We had one unknown parishioner who would leave 81 copies each Sunday and got good at hiding them. I founf that behind the St. Jude statue was his or her preferred hiding place, but stuck in the hymnals was another favorite place and a harder place to find them.


To those who think these novenas are bad thing:

Nobody should tell ever someone not to pray, which in effect you are doing when telling people not to believe in these novenas.

If a person wants to pray a novena with sincere intentions and believes deep in their heart that such a prayer will help them with their difficulties, then (to paraphrase the Holy Father) who are we to judge?

Never, under any circumstances should you tell someone not to pray or that their prayers are all in vain; even if you personally “don’t believe” in novenas.



It’s not the novenas themselves. Those are not the problem. Most of them are in fact approved by legitimate authority. Most of the time, but not always.

The problem is the (often) superstitious messages added to the Novenas. Things like “you must make 45 copies of this and pass it to friends” or “if you mail this to 50 people you’ll win the lottery” or “you will be condemned to eternal hellfire if you don’t make 100 copies and put them in the pews.” etc. etc. etc. That’s why they’re a problem.

There are all kinds of other inappropriate messages added to such novenas. Often these go directly against Church teaching (like intentions to put an end to the Ordinary Form of the Mass).

Novenas? Yes! Inappropriate messages added to them? No!

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