Gregorian Masses have been around since the first centuries of the Church; more than thirteen
hundred years. The value of these Masses is that once completed, the person for whom they were intended to benefit would
be released from Purgatory. The name "Gregorian" refers to Pope St. Gregory the Great who reigned from the year 590
to 604. He related in his Dialogues that when he had finished a series of thirty Masses for a departed monk,
he received a visitation from this monk who told him he had been released from Purgatory and entered heaven. In Europe
this practice became popular and was approved by the Church as a "...pious and reasonable belief of the faithful." (Sacred
Roman Congregation on Indulgences)
There are a number of simple requirements to gain this benefit for a departed loved one.
- It is required that thirty consecutive Masses be said; i.e., one per day for thirty days;
- They must be said on thirty consecutive days WITHOUT interruption;
- They can only be offered for one deceased person; not for several and not for all the faithful
- It is not required that these Masses be said by the same priest, but, they must be said for
thirty consecutive days, whether by one, two or more priests, all for the same intention.
Due to the commitment it takes, it can be very difficult to find a priest or priests who
can offer Gregorian Masses. As a source becomes available for saying Gregorian Masses, contact information for them
will be posted here.
Catholic Missions Office -- 3525 S. Lake Park Avenue -- Chicago,
IL 60653 -- Phone: 312-534-3318 or 3320
In the case of the Catholic Missions Office of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the missionaries
with whom they work appreciate the opportunity to say these Masses because the stipends for the Masses help with the priests'
upkeep and their work. I checked with this office on November 16, 2011, and the stipend requested was ten dollars
per Mass. It is my understanding that the Missions Office doesn't overtly advertise the fact that they can arrange to
have Gregorian Masses said, but, I don't think they'd turn anyone away.
Divine Word Missionaries -- P.O. Box 6099 -- 1835 Waukegan Road -- Techny,
IL 60082 -- Phone: 847-272-7600 or Toll Free 800-275-0626, ask for Terri
(The 800 number is for both Illinois and nationwide.)
Gregorian Masses are said by Divine Word priests in the mission fields of the world.
For this service, the Divine Word Missionaries are asking a stipend of $300 dollars for the thirty Masses. Given this
stipend amount is a lot of money, but, considering the tremendous benefit for the poor soul for whom it is offered, it is
truly little indeed.
As of 2007, the Divine Word Missionaries have told me that this donation is not etched in stone.
If this stipend amount is too difficult, they encourage you to call and speak with them. Stipends for Masses in most
places now is at least $15 per Mass so $300 is not an excessive request.
Requests can be made online at http://www.svdmissions.org Click on the "Ways to Help" pull-down menu, then click on "Requests" and you can select Gregorian Masses on that page
The Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (Pontificium
Institutum pro Missionibus Exteris) will also say Gregorian Masses. As of November 16, 2011, the stipend is $400
US. To arrange for Gregorian Masses, go to this site, http://pimeusa.org/index.php/vmart.html?page=shop.browse&category_id=23.
Contact information from their website is as follows:
PIME Missionaries -- 17330 Quincy Street
-- Detroit, MI 48221-2765 -- Phone:
313.342.4066 -- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
International Calls, Use 011 for the Country Code.
Questions are sometimes raised asking whether or not people are being ask to pay for a sacred
thing - that is, simony. Stipends for Masses go back to the earliest of Church times when the faithful used to bring
to the Mass locations the things which were necessary to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the support of the priest.
Thus it can be seen that the stipend is given for each Mass for the benefit of the priests whose mission is the sanctification
of the laity and that it is not a "payment" for the celebration of the Mass for the deceased.