The commitment to teaching and formation also means these priests do not have any other opportunities of earning an income in order to support themselves, such as by working in a parish. As a result, they are very much dependent on Mass stipends.
“You are the hope of this 2000-year-old Church of ours: being young in faith, you must be like the first Christians and radiate enthusiasm and courage…You will also be a leaven of missionary spirit for the older Churches.” Saint John Paul II
In Africa, the number of Catholics is growing faster than the Muslim population. The Catholic Church is also growing at a faster rate than other Christian denominations: since 1980 Africa’s Catholic population has more than tripled to 200 million. But, above all, the growth and enthusiasm of the faith in Africa is a beacon of hope for the continent and the world at large.
To provide formation for these new catechists, the parish needs suitable teaching materials, including books, Bibles, instructional videos and related equipment for replaying and projecting films, etc. In addition, each catechist is to be provided with an alb to wear when leading the Liturgies of the Word.
Having a Holy Mass celebrated for a particular intention is a long and venerable tradition. The gift, or “stipend,” given to the priest by the person concerned is in no sense a “payment” but rather a gesture of love and gratitude and also of financial support for the individual priest.