Inauguration Day Masses

(photo: CNS)

Looking for something constructive to do in the context of the upcoming Jan. 20 inauguration of Barack Obama as president?

A reader of Register contributor Mark Shea’s blog, Catholic and Enjoying It!, proposes this: Have a Mass offered on Inauguration Day for a conversion of heart of the new president to a pro-life perspective.

Shea’s reader reports that a drive is already underway across the nation to have such Masses said. As of yesterday, courtesy of the initiative, 91 Masses in 27 states will be offered Jan. 20 for the intention of Obama’s conversion of heart.

The reader helpfully provides a point-by-point explanation of the objective of the initiative, and of how Catholics can participate in it:

“If you are like me, you have felt somewhat concerned about the results of the election and the future of our country. We have started a grassroots effort and I hope you will join us in doing one little thing that could help to change the course of history.

WHO: A few faithful Catholic lay people and priests. (Anyone can do this: stay-at-home moms, singles, retired people, students — anyone.)

WHAT: Have a Mass offered on Inauguration Day for our new President that he will have a conversion of heart and “work to protect the dignity of all human life.” Consider that St. Leonard of Port Maurice said that one Mass offered before death may be more profitable than many after it, and St. Anselm affirmed this.

WHEN: Tuesday January 20, 2009 Inauguration Day

WHERE: Throughout our country in as many Catholic churches as possible. (We have 91 Masses at present.)

WHY: Because offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for an intention is very powerful.

HOW: Simply call your local parish and ask to reserve January 20th for your intention. The usual stipend is $10. (Many priests will be glad to offer the Mass for this intention without the usual stipend — just ask. I have had the best response by simply writing a personal letter to all the priests I know and asking them if they would like to participate.) If January 20 is already taken at your local parish, you may choose another date or contact a nearby parish. Also consider having Masses offered at local hospitals, nursing homes, monasteries, etc. Consider retired priests who may be offering private Masses. There is no limit to how many Masses you can have offered on any given day. You may also have the Mass listed as a “Special Intention” if you prefer.

Thanks for considering my request and may God bless America!”

— Tom McFeely