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Masses, Initials & Living Together

30 Masses for a Living Person

To Whom It May Concern,

Yesterday I received an inquiry by a friend who wishes to have 30 consecutive days of Masses said for her living daughter.

Do you know of any order of priests who will offer these Masses for a living person? I am aware of the 30 days of Masses offered for a deceased person.

Are there such priests who perform this service for the living? Thank you for your response and God bless.

     In Christ,

     Deacon P.J.O.

TIA responds:

Rev. Deacon P.J.O.,

Any priest can say a Mass for a living person. It is a quite usual practice, especially for birthdays. Many of our friends order Masses for TIA members in their birthdays.

If this is so, we see no reason why the same priest could not say 30 consecutive Masses for one person. It is not usual, but we see no objection of principle to the request you mentioned.

In practice, however, things can be different. Some reasons occur to us.

Since the 30 Gregorian Masses are to deliver a soul from Purgatory and they were instituted by Pope Gregory the Great, some priests are willing to say those 30 Masses to achieve that most laudable goal and also out of respect for that Pope. We know that a priest has to postpone many other requests in his calendar in order to say the 30 consecutive Masses.

The problem we envisage of having the 30 Masses said for a living person is that it would be much more difficult to find a priest who would postpone a busy schedule of Masses in order to say this series of Masses for a person, whose goal is probably his/her spiritual progress. The solicitor may look a little pretentious.

If you need to enquire with priests who habitually say the 30 Gregorian Masses, you may find them here and here.


     TIA correspondence desk


What the Initials O.S. Stand For?

Dear TIA,

Could you tell me what “O.S.” stands for: Fr. So & So, O.S. ?


     C.E, France

TIA responds:

Dear C.E.,

Thank you for your inquiry.

In the case of Fr. Brian W. Harrison, O.S., for example, the abbreviation stands for Oblatae Sapientiae, Oblates of Wisdom.

Other religious institutes that have similar abbreviations are O.S.A, which stands for Order of Saint Augustine, and O.S.B., Order of Saint Benedict.

You may find a list of the abbreviations more commonly used in the Church here.

In the case the abbreviation O.S. appears in one posting of this What People Are Commenting section, it stands for the name of our correspondent. One of such cases can be seen here. Habitually we do not display the full name of our correspondents to avoid any possible embarrassment to them.


     TIA correspondent desk


Living Together


I was researching answers to a question that I have about living together with my boyfriend as brother and sister, which isn't a choice but the only option that I have.

My boyfriend is converting to Catholicism as a direct influence of my prayers for his conversion. We attend Mass every Sunday together, and he has just recently started classes to be confirmed in May. His background includes living in an immoral way for a long time, but since then he has given up all of those things that caused him to fall into sin. Our parish priest has asked me to go with him for his next class to talk to us about living together; the church is in the Latin Rite.

We are both being abstinent as a choice we made together and he's well aware of the importance that it holds for me and agrees with that. We are doing everything within our control to avoid temptation and grow stronger in our prayer life to continue to receive graces for remaining abstinent. I must add that we are not actually struggling to remain this way but that we ask for continued graces to always remain in the Lord's good graces.

I have consulted other Catholic authorities who have said that living together in and of itself is not a mortal sin as long as we are vigilant about not causing scandal, and we have been very vigilant. Very few people know anything of our relationship, we keep everything to ourselves as much as we can. The only people that know are immediate family such as parents, grandparents, and our aunt and uncle on each side. They are all Christian, my family are devout Catholics and they are all well aware that we are being abstinent. There are no children that are being given the wrong impression. We've been together for 9 months and have been living together for 2 of those months.

We were given a pamphlet from the parish priest stating that living together is always a mortal sin, but these circumstances are not cut and dry so easily as it only emphasized the importance of not having sex, which we are not. It stated that people move in together, and their relationships get worse because they use sex as a solution to problems and avoid working things out.

We have both been in some very turbulent relationships in the past that have left damage that we are actively working on undoing. We do not use sex as a form of communication to avoid deeper communication; we actually talk everything out and work on ways to always improve how we communicate, and we are not using living together as a way to continue to get to know each other. We do enjoy being around each other. We are best friends and are acting in such a way where we are not causing others to sin.

I suppose I am asking for clarity and insight as to what I should expect from the priest. What type of questions will be asked and if there will be understanding to this situation? I've been advised there's nothing inherently wrong with just living with someone of the opposite sex.

Since this is my only option and we are being very diligent and proactive about our commitment to God and to each other. He's most likely going back into the military, which will keep us far apart for a long time anyway. We've talked about potentially getting married but, with his background, he's still very hesitant because he's afraid of being tied down, which stems from his past relationship. He's open to the idea but I believe he needs more time and his continued growth in the church is proving to change his perspective about things.

We're working everything out and maintaining a healthy relationship and being diligent with each other because we care deeply about one another. He's also committed to growing with me in our relationship, and marriage is something he's beginning to consider so it's not off the table. We have no plans right now but I know that he wants to be in a good place with himself and understand fully before making that commitment, which I agree with.


TIA responds:

Hello K.S.,

Thank you for the confidence you reveal by sending us this personal and delicate question. We are sorry it took us some months to answer you.

The principle that regulates scandals is not necessarily what is taking place objectively, but rather concerns the appearances. One example may help you to apply this principle.

If a man is seen entering a house of prostitution, even if he does not actually sin with a woman there, he causes scandal to those who have seen him entering there or for those who have heard that he did so. His act in itself is an invitation to sin. This is the essence of what constitutes public scandal.

Now, imagine that the man was going there not to sin with a woman, but to pay for her time so that she would not have someone else sinning with her. That man would stay with her for a certain time praying for her conversion.

Regarding public appearance, the scandal would be the same as if he were actually sinning with her.

So, the appearance of sin – not necessarily the actual sin – is what invites others to follow him on the path of perdition. This is public scandal.

This principle applies also to your case. Even though you live chastely with your boyfriend, the scandal it gives is the same as that of another young woman who actually sins daily with her boyfriend.

Thus, our advice to you is: Do not do this. The bad example remains whether you actually sin or live chastely. You are responsible for the bad example you give. It will count in your judgment before God.


     TIA correspondence desk


Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted May 7, 2015

The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting - do not necessarily express those of TIA

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