Helping persecuted and needy Christians is of the utmost priority to Aid to the Church in Need. Whether through Mass stipends, the funding of priestly formation, existential help for religious members or the formation of faith among the laity – we sponsor thousands of brothers and sisters every year so that they, in turn, can support the faithful.
In many regions today, the faithful are so poor that they cannot support their priests. Even the bishops often lack the financial means to provide their priests with a regular wage. In these areas, Mass stipends are often their only means of material support. Mass stipends are monetary donations connected with the request to celebrate Holy Mass for the deceased and the sick or other concerns of the benefactors.
In 2019, a total of 1,378,635 Holy Masses were celebrated in the intentions of our benefactors. In this way, we were able to support a total of 40,096 priests – on average, about every tenth priest worldwide.
Putting the plight of the people before God is part of our mission.Fr. Martin Barta, Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Foundation
The distribution of the Mass stipends reflects the conditions of poverty on the continents. In the reporting year, 38% of the Mass stipends went to Africa, 28% to Asia and the Near and Middle East, 16% to Latin America and 18% to Central and Eastern Europe.
By focusing Mass prayers on deceased or sick relatives, on people who are experiencing life crises or on certain issues our donors may be facing, they take part in the Eucharistic celebration in a very special way. With this kind of donation, many of our benefactors recognise the profound spiritual purpose of uniting their charity with Church prayers. On average, a Holy Mass is held every 23 seconds for the intentions of ACN benefactors somewhere in the world.
For some priests, Mass stipends are the only source of income.
Most of the priests not only use Mass stipends for their own subsistence, but are also able to cover some of the costs of their pastoral activities with them. In this way, Mass stipends are intended to secure the immediate livelihood of priests and their parishes. As a basic principle, 100% of the Mass stipends are forwarded to the intended recipients.