Q: I work in a hispanic community, and sometimes a member of the parish comes to me in the minutes before mass begins with a donation to pay for a mass intention of that mass. We’ve been saying no because the intentions were set up a long time ago. Is there a better way to handle this?
A: I’ve experienced the same thing, and it’s frustrating. As a pastor, I’d like to know more about the person asking for my prayers. “Who are you? Who is the person you want me to pray for? What happened?” It’s often more than I can absorb in the moments before mass begins. Often I would say, “It’s too late to add the name to the petitions today, but give me the person’s name, and I will pray for them in my heart during this mass.” Then I’d schedule a mass for that intention at a later date.
Or, if it really is urgent, we can add the name to the petitions, but I wish people would let us know earlier.
Another solution is to have someone else available to receive mass intentions before each mass. But that takes some organization.