Why readers attend daily Mass

By Catholic New World
Sunday, December 25, 2016

We asked readers who attend Mass on a daily basis why they worship more than weekly. We received more than 65 responses from every corner of the archdiocese, by far the most responses we’ve ever received to a request like this.

Reading through these responses, we were moved, inspired and reminded of all the ways the people of God live out their faith, often in quiet ways, every day. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

▪ I like going to daily Mass for two reasons. One is that I could not live without receiving Jesus every day. I need the strength to care for our adult son with disabilities and to love those around me. Even now, I struggle, but, with him [the Lord], I know that he helps each moment.

Second, the parishioners that come each day are really a community, like family. They know if you are missing. One gave to me a picture of St. Maria Goretti when she was in Chicago. Another gave me a card from the Holy Land where she and her husband had returned from very recently. Even a couple of years ago when our former pastor’s sister in Indiana had lost her house through fire, the people came together with money, cards, etc. to show their concrete caring. It is such a gift to be able to come to daily Mass.

— Carol Spale, Mater Christi, North Riverside

▪ I’m retired so I attend weekday Mass frequently. So does my husband. Occasionally I serve as a eucharistic minister at this 8:30 a.m. Mass. I value weekday Mass for the Eucharist. Receiving is my primary reason for attending. I really don’t care to hear a sermon — especially a long one, although a few words based on the readings to help me get through the day can be helpful. I also don’t need — or even want — music. I appreciate a quiet, brief liturgy during which I can receive the Eucharist — it’s way to start the day that helps me center.

— Massgoer, Incarnation, Palos Heights

▪ I have attended daily Mass since high school. The reason is simple — because I can, because He is always there, waiting for me. When I think of people in this world that I would love to meet, all I can think is that if I had the opportunity to spend 30 minutes with the pope every day, or 30 minutes with the Beatles every day, or 30 minutes with someone with whom I am madly in love every day, I would be sure I was there every day. In the Mass I have the opportunity to spend 30 minutes with Our Lord. He elegantly gives himself to me and I clumsily give myself to Him and I carry the remembrance of that half-hour with me throughout the day until I can meet with Him again the following morning.

Life is fleeting — I don’t know for sure if my job will be there the next day, or a member of my family, or my finances; but I always know that He will be there, every day, no matter what. My heart is so grateful for all the priests in all the parishes in my area who make it possible for me to attend Mass every day.

— M.J. Keenley, St. Theresa, Palatine

▪ When I was a student at St. Mary’s School in Des Plaines, the teachers had the students sit in alphabetical order. There were times when misbehaving students were seated next to students who behaved. Don Nevins often sat next to me. He is now an excellent priest. Don and I often volunteered to serve 6:30 a.m. daily Mass.

One morning I complained to Sister Amata about having to get up so early. She calmly explained that she got up much earlier than I did. Later in the day, she gave me a book titled “Mangled Hands.” It was about Father Isaac Jogues. He was a missionary to the Iroquois Indians. They hacked off his thumbs with tomahawks. Yet he continued to try to convert them to Christianity. I didn’t complain anymore.

I went to daily Mass and I had a wonderful childhood. After I had read about 15 Scott Hahn books, I became convinced that it was a good idea to attend Mass as often as possible. So I’ve been going to daily Mass since July 2015.

— Patrick McCaskey, St. Mary, Lake Forest

▪ I attend daily Mass for several reasons. First, out of gratitude to God who is the very source of my being and the giver of all the gifts and talents I possess. Second, as I nurture my body by daily food, I wish to nourish my soul by daily reception of the Body and Blood of Christ. Third, as a means of growing in faith as a follower or disciple of Christ, I believe it is important to be constantly aware of who Jesus was and what he did for all humankind. Being attentive to the daily readings from the Bible (Old Testament and New Testament) keeps me conscience of God’s presence and actions in the history of salvation and in contemporary history, including my own personal spiritual journey. Fourth, as I receive God’s body and Blood, I pray that I may become that which I eat. As Christians we are called to “be Jesus” (alter Christi -other Christs) for those whom we encounter in daily life. Fifth, as Christians we are called to be sacraments of God’s universal unconditional love to all whom we encounter. Daily prayer, attending Mass, hearing Scripture, hearing excellent daily homilies and receiving Jesus keeps me in direct conversation with God and enables me to become what God has called me to be and to do what God calls me to do as a follower of Christ.

— Sister Jamie T. Phelps

▪ What would you do if you learned that Jesus Christ was appearing in person at your local church? Furthermore, you would be able to talk to him, share your problems and concerns with him and receive his comfort, grace and consolation. You would probably drop everything, cancel or reschedule appointments and rush to the church ready to meet your Savior. That’s what daily Mass and Communion mean to me, experiencing the Divine Presence of our Lord, talking over everything with him, trying to make him the priority in my life and receiving his great blessings, comfort, guidance, inspiration and consolation. Daily reminders of the Scriptures make the difference between forgiveness and bitterness, love or hate, patience or anger. As the song says, “What a friend we have in Jesus.”

— Mary Scannell-Zunic, Palos Heights

▪ The Eucharist means thanksgiving, and there are so many reasons I have to offer thanks, on many and various occasions, including birthdays, anniversaries and even secular holidays. That’s why I like to attend Mass on days other than Sunday, because it gives me an opportunity to give thanks to God for the occasion at hand on a particular day. There are also times I go when I want to offer up a special petition, like remembrance and renewed resolve for the making of a better world on Sept. 11.

— Paul Rubio, Ascension, Oak Park

▪ I turned 65 in February of last year and am semi-retired. When I first stopped working daily I didn’t know what to do without the daily routine of getting up and going to work. Often it would be 2 p.m. before I’d get ready for the day — spending hours doing mindless tasks or watching the Food Network. I felt a loss and didn’t know what to do with myself. Then it was Lent and I decided to try to go to daily Mass. Except for a few days when I had to work I made it through the 40 days. Then I decided to keep up the daily practice. Going to Mass gave me a reason to get up and get going. There is no better way to start the day than spending 30 minutes in prayer and receiving the Eucharist. Living in Palos Park gives me options for daily Mass — either at Sacred Heart, St Alexander’s or Palos Hospital — so I have no excuse that times aren’t convenient. I do take one day off on Saturday.

— Nancy Webster, Sacred Heart, Palos Hills

▪ Thank you for providing an opportunity for me to sing the joys of attending daily Mass. I love the rhythm of waking, anticipating I’ll soon have breakfast with Jesus. Currently, I live across the street from my parish, so my routine is to walk to St. John Berchmans for 7 a.m. Mass. I attend pretty much every day. In walking to church, I find the connection to the natural world a part of the spirituality of anticipating Mass. I moved to Chicago a little over two years ago. I have marveled at the providence of moving to a neighborhood with such a vibrant parish. Daily Mass is in English; the homily is usually bilingually Spanish. We have Spanish speakers from Guatemala, Peru, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Spain and many Polish and Flemish speakers as well. All are welcome. I didn’t know any of these people when I first came to Mass, but we are a community now, and always welcome and encourage newcomers. Connections are made because we know each other’s name, and story. To come to Mass is like going home and being welcomed by your best friend ever, all brothers and sisters in Christ.

— Kathleen Wetstein, St. John Berchmans, 2517 W. Logan Blvd.

▪ I have been attending Mass when possible approximately five days a week during my working career, as I was fortunate to be employed near a Catholic church. Since I’ve been retired for nearly 12 years, I attend Mass seven days a week. His making himself available to us in the Holy Eucharist is truly the greatest gift in the whole world, (yes, even better than all the power and money in the world if one were to sincerely think about and dwell upon it, incredible as it may sound). What a totally unique and impressive way he established to personally be with his people. For we as Catholics do not “feel” or “think,” but actually “know and believe in our hearts” that he is truly present in the Holy Eucharist -- his actual Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. We Catholics do not believe that Holy Communion is a “symbol” of Christ, but rather we know that Ii is his actual Presence. How do we know that? Because he himself told us so when he instituted the Holy Eucharist on Holy Thursday with his apostles when he told them, “This is My Body ... and This is My Blood ... Do this in remembrance of Me.” He loves us. He wants to be with us. He wants to be a part of us. To be able to be with him each day is a wonder beyond compare and nearly beyond human comprehension. The Holy Eucharist is the crux of our faith, for if He were not truly present in the Holy Eucharist, then our faith would be no different than any other.

— Ken Hejza, Mary Seat of Wisdom, Park Ridge

▪ Where do I begin? Without any doubt it would have to begin with my wonderful Catholic education from grammar school, high school and college. My teachers – 95 percent sisters -- not only taught me about the Mass but modeled how to eventually embrace it as a source of spiritual nourishment for my daily activities. Maybe the fact that my mother was sickly, in and out of hospitals, certainly drew me to seek comfort from my faith and the Mass. The beginnings of my daily attendance at Mass began in college. I commuted every morning to the far Northside of the city where I attended Mass at the campus chapel as often as I could. After school I spent the next 10 years caring for my growing family. When I returned to teaching I found a wonderful church that I attended for most of the 30 years I worked. It provided me with the spiritual nourishment I needed as a wife, mother and teacher. Now that I am retired, my husband and I attend our parish church every morning. These wonderful senior years attending Mass have given us the opportunity to thank God for the many blessings he has showered on our family.

— Mary Ellen Gilboy, St. Catherine of Alexandria, Oak Lawn

▪ I have been attending daily Mass since 1981 after my dad died. I pray for him and the whole world. At St. Juliana we have daily Mass in the former nuns’ chapel to save on heating costs versus the big church. Benefits of daily Mass are staying closer to God, with the parish Bible study also helping in this regard. I go to start my day off on the right foot.

— Jim Walsh, St. Juliana, 7200 N. Osceola Ave.

▪ Back in the 50s when I started first grade at St. Matthew Catholic School in Detroit, Michigan, our day began with daily Mass for the entire student body. Students from grades first through eight came directly to Mass from home and afterward went to their classrooms. I wasn’t aware that this practice had been discontinued until my own children began Catholic school in the 70s. I continued with daily Mass through high school, college and beyond and even worked for the church for many years. I think daily Mass should be part of today’s Catholic education, and certainly a good way for students to start their school day.

— Massgoer, St. Catherine Laboure, Glenview

▪ My parents had a very firm belief in the Mass, the sacraments and prayer at home. After raising eight of us on the farm, they retired to a home next to our parish church in town. Mom went to Mass every day, while Dad helped his sons on their farms. Mom also spent time at home praying the rosary, and praying from her well-worn prayer book. I believe that in going to Mass every day I can is the most important act I can do for myself and others. It gives me a daily focus: in gratitude to God, time to ask God for his mercy and help in my daily life and the lives of others.

— Massgoer, St. Edna, Arlington Heights

▪ I do attend daily mass because: 1) Food for my soul; 2) Most solemn prayer; 3) Helps me to remember Jesus died for me; 4) Gives strengths for daily life; 5) Helps me to combat with stress; 6) Jesus is real; 7) Gives me hope; 8) Give courage; 9) Sense of stability; 10) Helps to forgive

— Mercy Kuriakose, Syromalabar Cathedral, Bellwood

▪ I retired seven years ago, but never really thought about daily Mass. Of course, it was impossible during my working career. A year ago last July, I had a weekday Mass said for my father on the anniversary of his death. I discovered I knew many of the daily Mass attendees. I went back the next day, and have been fairly consistent ever since. I feel a strong sense of community as we parishioners greet each other and worship together. Sometimes I am the lector. Receiving the Eucharist, sharing in the Mass and offering my daily prayers are now a foundation for my day. Simply put, it feels so good and so right for me, and strengthens my personal relationship with my Lord.

— Jack Ennenbach, St. Gilbert, Grayslake

▪ I attend daily Mass because it feels good to be with God the first thing in the morning and to welcome him into my life for the day and to carry him with me for the rest of the day. I like to listen to the readings and see how they affect me for the day.

— Angela Burke, Our Lady Of Knock, Calumet City

▪ Seated in the shadows in the last pew, I arrived for morning Mass merely to pray for a missionary priest who contemplated giving up his priestly vocation. The next break of day, I found myself in a middle-row pew some years ago in St. Hubert Church, Hoffman Estates, to continue that petition. By the third day, I was comfortable closer up, in a front row. That third day I realized I never wanted to miss a daily Mass again because I knew I was invited; I was a special guest; I was there for a reason. I felt the love of the Lord in my being. As I waited for the liturgy to begin, memories flooded upon me and I recalled myself as a child in second grade, absorbing everything Sister said as we prepared for First Communion. She said, “God loves you.” Brought back to the present, I was given to know that daily Mass for me is a calling, an invitation to participate. It is a time to put myself in God’s presence, a time to worship, adore and praise the Lord -- things I didn’t realize were necessary, believing that petitioning was at the forefront. It is an opportunity to lift up those who are alienated or angry and who left the Catholic Church for a variety of reasons, some of which they’ve even forgotten. While it is true that it is sometimes difficult to arise early, step outdoors on a frosty morning and travel the distance, it also is challenging and fulfilling to realize daily Mass is an opportunity to pray for those whose circumstances, whether the demands of a job, a family of small children or an illness, precludes them from attending daily Mass themselves. Moreover, it is an ideal time to praise the Lord for his goodness and mercy, to give thanks for his blessings and to adore him for his passionate love for us. What happened to that special missionary priest for whom I prayed years ago? He decided that mission life was his calling. He did not leave the priesthood and his ministry was productive, fruitful and rewarding until he died four years ago.

— Joanmarie Wermes, St. Hubert, Hoffman Estates

▪ I attend daily Mass at St. Daniel the Prophet Parish and there are so many things I receive from this practice beside the spiritual blessings of receiving Jesus. As a caretaker for my wife this is an opportunity to spend some time for myself. Also, since I’m a lector and Communion minister I get to be very much involved in the workings of the Mass. By being involved this gives me a chance to have responsibility outside of being a caretaker and a retired.

— Bob Kliver, St. Daniel the Prophet, 5300 S Natoma

▪ My home parish is St. Barbara’s in Brookfield but because I work in Chicago, I attend daily Mass as often as I can at Old St. Pat’s. I started going after Ash Wednesday about nine years ago. I didn’t realize there was a church close enough where I would be able to incorporate my faith practice into my daily routine. I was delighted! I go because I see enormous benefit. Oftentimes I will remember a good homily or the Scripture reading provides a good meditation throughout my workday. It’s also a way for me to remember how much I am cared for and that all that I am and do belongs to the Lord.

— Annette Clemens, St. Barbara, Brookfield

▪ My main reason for attending daily Mass was to pray for certain requests. Over time I changed that reason to a more formal thanksgiving for God in my life. The benefit achieved is the ongoing instruction that I received from the Scripture readings and the homilies presented by the good priests at St. Luke.

— Fred Heiss, St. Luke, River Forest

▪ In the 1980s our parish priest suggested that whatever we had done during Lent, we should now continue to do. He said Lent was meant to change us permanently, not just for four weeks. I had attended daily Mass that year during Lent, and decided to take up his challenge. It became easier to do after July 1999, when I retired. With such frequent exposure to liturgy, I’ve been inspired to learn more about it, which in turn makes it all the more appealing to receive daily.

— Georgia Montana, St. Pius X, Stickney

▪ In his World Youth Day message in 2005 alluding to John 4:23-24, St. John Paul II spoke about how “all those who encounter Jesus are called, in order to become the true worshipers that he desires.” That is when we come to know Jesus. When someone we’re in relationship with bids us come to a celebration, we don’t hesitate to join in the feast, because we know who it is that calls us -- and others we know will be there as well. At Mass, we are invited to the eucharistic banquet by God himself through the Holy Spirit to recollect Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection, and to be spiritually nourished by the Son’s body and blood – and we’re conversant with the other guests. I think this sums up why I attend Mass every day. It is the essential part of my morning prayers when I can thank God for yesterday and the promise of today, express regret for the previous day’s shortcomings and ask for the grace to do better going forward, prayerfully express gratitude for all that I’m given and give worship to one I love and follow. This practice energizes my call to assist the poor, homeless and needy, bring Communion to the hospitalized and comfort the bereaved.

— Patrick Mullaney, St. Julian Eymard, Elk Grove Village

▪ After I semi-retired about eight years ago, I found myself getting more and more depressed. My family didn’t need me anymore and after working many hours a day there was a huge void. It was suggested that I see my doctor and get a pill so I wouldn’t be depressed. A pill? No way, that wasn’t for me. After some deep reflection, I decided to go to morning Mass every day and see how that worked. How can starting your day with Jesus not be a good thing? In the past I would try to attend daily Mass during Lent. Now, I not only have a closer relationship with our Lord, I have a new “family,” my morning Mass family. We have become much more than friends, we share our problems, our joys, our lives with each other. We pray for those in crisis and bad health. It is something I look forward to every day.

— Helene Schafer, St. James, Sauk Village

▪ I started going to daily Mass with my mom back in 2007 when my dad was sick with a fatal brain tumor. I flew home to help her care for him. I was struck at how different daily Mass was from Sunday Mass -- a different energy, a different feeling. Everyone was there for a reason. The reason was usually someone else, a need outside themselves. My dad was not Roman Catholic, but had attended Sunday Mass with my mom for years. He didn’t take Communion, but attended faithfully. After his second brain surgery, he told my mom he wanted to join the church. On a Sunday soon after, he stood at the front of the church, his head half-shaved, and was asked three questions, and in answering them, he joined the church. “Best thing I ever did,” he said. He took Communion three times before he died. I spent the next couple of weeks helping my mom take care of the tedious practical matters that follow a death. We also went to daily Mass, and it was dawning on me how helpful it was to be surrounded by faithful, loving people for a little while every day. Even if I felt more tired than grateful and more overwhelmed than generous, I could bring that turmoil to God, and surround myself with the love and care of this small band of prayerful people. What a gift that was. On the flight home, the idea came to me that I would go to Mass every day for a year for my mom and dad, to pray for them, and ask God to settle them into their next chapters somehow. Back home, I started going to daily Mass in this spirit. What I found was that I cried a lot at first. My own grief needed this time, turns out. My own losses and changes and troubles needed prayer and time and healing, go figure. I found my comfort in these brief services of prayer and Communion with the faithful. I continue going to daily Mass here in Chicago, in part because I still need the support of the faithful people I meet there. But I also go in the hope that my faithful presence might help someone else, the way I was lifted up (or perhaps that is “lowered down,” like the paralyzed man in the Gospel).

— David Westerberg, St. Barnabas, 10134 S. Longwood Dr.

▪ I can say that ever since I was a child, after my First Communion, I reasoned like this: “Jesus is coming on the altar in my parish church! How can I stay at home in bed and not go and see him?” So I went every morning, first with my mom, and then on my own, and this has continued into adulthood. Now my reasoning tells me: Jesus not only comes on the altar, he wants to come into my heart and fill me with his love, a divine love, that I can give to everyone I meet during the day. What an amazing gift! So I find a way to go every day, to different churches perhaps due to my work schedule, but even on vacation, I often find little Catholic church with Mass, so as not to miss the “appointment” with Jesus.

— Jo-Ellen Karstens, St. Ambrose, 1012 E. 47th St.

▪ I attend morning Masses two or three days a week for the love, strength and grace I receive from receiving Christ in Eucharist. If I have a doctor’s or dentist appointment or someone in my family/friends are ill, I am able to attend morning Mass during the week to pray for them also. I love and value the fact that our Roman Catholic Church has morning Masses. Those of us who attend are like a special knit community praying together. I thank God for our weekly morning Masses. Sometimes I need to receive Christ to maintain a strong state of grace. Other Christian Churches do not offer this. I need that closeness to God/Spirit/Christ. Receiving the Eucharist brings joy, love and peace into my life and therefore I am able to extend that more so to others -- my family, friends and those I come into contact with during the week. Morning Mass helps me to be a better person, to not feel down, to be uplifted. I am very thankful for the daily Masses.

— Marolyne Williams, St. Patricia, Hickory Hills

▪ We have been attending daily Mass since January 2010. My mom passed away late December 2009. I found myself sitting at the breakfast table with my husband feeling sad. I said, “We should go to Mass. there is nothing holding us back. That was the start of our beautiful experiences of attending daily Mass. We go for the Holy Eucharist, to nourish our souls. We go to give thanks and praise for the goodness our Lord has shown us. We go to hear the Sacred Scripture and have it explained during the meaningful homilies our dear pastor gives at each Mass. (No shortcuts here!) Every day he leaves a thought in our heads that we talk about or try to work on during the day. We go for the peace we feel when we leave with a sense of direction for the day. We also attend daily Mass for the friendships we have made with other daily Massgoers. We are like a little family away from our families. We are the church family. We care about each other.

— Ernest Brown

▪ I attended daily Mass while in college and later while working downtown in Chicago. In the last year or so, I have resumed the practice. To me receiving the Eucharist every day is the same as providing daily nourishment for my soul. It gives me a feeling of inner peace and strength with which to handle the encounters of the day. It also is an opportunity to talk to God in a very personal way. I think, if people experienced the benefits of attending daily Mass, our churches would be packed during the week.

— Patricia Britt, St. Hilary, 5600 N. Fairfield Ave.

▪ Ten years ago I was nearly crippled by a back injury. Through the agony of being stripped of my perceived identity, I found my way back to the Catholic faith I was baptized and raised in, but had tossed aside as a busy wife, mother and nurse. After many months of not being able to drive, work and basically leave my house I finally, by the Grace of God, began to slowly improve. Hobbling into my first ever daily Holy Mass was an experience beyond words (and returning to confession). Jesus Christ is truly present and He blesses us with His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. We take for granted in the United States our freedom to attend Holy Mass and receive the True Presence of Our Lord and Savior every day. Catholics in other countries can go for months without ever being able to attend a Holy Mass. Jesus waits patiently for us to come and receive the greatest gift, Himself. We are so blessed to be able to attend Holy Mass every day. Truly there is no better way to start your day then by worshiping, receiving and giving thanks to God. Try it, it will change your life!

— Mary Margaret, West Bloomfield, Michigan

▪ When I retired at the age of 62, I decided to continue getting up early and attending Mass. It is a good way to start the day, with a great destination, the Catholic Church. I am in good health for my age (84) and feel I can go to Mass to thank God for my good health and meet with many people that I have met through the years by belonging to St. Eugene Parish, at Foster and Canfield, in Chicago. I now live in a near by suburb but remained a member of St. Eugene because I have met so many wonderful people and priests that I really like and I enjoy seeing them every day. It is my second marriage and we were married at St. Eugene 27 years ago. We have attended weekly Mass ever since. St. Eugene has Adoration on Monday from noon until 8 p.m. and my husband and I make it a point to spend at least an hour there each week. I love visiting with the Lord. It’s very comforting. I have three sons and three grandchildren and I pray that God would inspire them to come back to the church. So far nothing has happened but sometimes it takes longer for prayers to be answered. I pray they return to the church before I go. My faith keeps me going.

— Virginia Bongiorno-Lawrence, St. Eugene, 7958 W. Foster Ave.

▪ I go to morning Mass almost every day to thank God for His many favors throughout my life and to ask for His continued support for my family. Fathers John and Juan provide us with some insight into the day’s readings or on how God is working in our lives. Morning Mass and the rosary get me centered for the day. We have a good group at 8:30 a.m. Mass.

— Charley Clam, St. Mary Star of the Sea, 6435 S. Kilbourn Ave.

▪ In 1957 when I was a freshman in high school at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, I joined the Sodality of Our Lady and the Jesuits encouraged us to attend daily Mass, say the rosary daily and pray mental prayer for 15 minutes daily. I have been doing this since then. Jesus said “If you are weary and find life burdensome, come to Me and I will give you refreshment.” I like to go to Mass to get strength and to offer myself with the whole Body of Christ throughout the world with Christ to the Father in reparation for my sins and the sins of the world. And I love receiving Jesus in Communion to receive strength to get through the day successfully. I feel with His strength in the Eucharist, Jesus will help me through the day and I can love others as I would want them to love me.

— Marty Lane

▪ What greater prayer is there than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? I’ve been attending the weekday daily Mass at 6:30 a.m. for the past six years. I started attending daily during Lent. Rather than “giving up” something for Lent, I decided to “do something extra.” When Lent ended I made the decision to keep attending because of the benefits. It is a wonderful way to start the day. I try to arrive 25 to 30 minutes before Mass begins to spend the time in quiet prayer and contemplation, either reading Scripture or praying morning prayers (the psalms, Canticle of Zechariah, etc.). I also pray with the Mass readings for the day. There is a certain comfort level in being part of our parish’s daily Mass “community.” I feel as if those of us who are fortunate to have the opportunity to attend daily in some way act as representatives of those who cannot attend because of work schedules, family responsibilities, illness or many other reasons. I always pray for all of my fellow parishioners and their needs as well as for my family members both living and deceased. Hearing and contemplating God’s word on a daily basis is enrichment for the soul.

— Gary Cesario, St. Albert the Great, Burbank

▪ I try to attend daily Mass a couple of times each week. I started attending daily Mass last year when my youngest child started preschool. God blessed me with three beautiful children and I wanted to say thanks for getting me through those infant years. It became something I looked forward to. This year, my youngest is in preschool five days a week, so I try to get to Mass as often as I can. It helps me start my day in a positive way. I find that during daily Mass I can pay attention to the reading and the psalm better. Each day it’s like the psalm pertains to me! I like the quietness that daily Mass provides. The community is also something that I love. I like seeing the same parishioners there each day.

— Jamie Guardi, St. Catherine of Alexandria, Oak Lawn

▪ Initially I started to attend daily Mass last November. I feel I am a good Catholic who followed my faith and attended Mass each week. What got me into the practice of daily Mass? Well, a family member had several health issues. We tried being supportive of this person in all the necessary things but I felt I needed to do more and my hands were tied. One day at Mass the thought came to me -- pray more -- attend daily Mass. ( truly believe God does speak to us if we listen.) What benefits do I see from it? Why do I go? Besides helping our family member (who is doing much better) I found that I am learning much about the different daily Gospels and different saints. The short homily gives me spiritual food for thought that helps me throughout the day. Also I believe in not just going because I want something (good health for our family member). I believe in the words “thank you.” We thank others for things they do for us and so I feel in my heart I want to thank God for His help. I have family members and friends who have attended daily Mass for years and now I do feel I know the value of this.

— Roberta K. Wachowicz

▪ My current work schedule doesn’t permit regular daily Mass attendance, but when it did, I found that: (1) The lack of music allows for more intense contemplation of the words/prayers being said, (2) In churches that have a daily Mass chapel, the intimate setting makes it feel how the Early Church must have felt, and (3) The reading selections are different than Sunday Mass. I love hearing the Prodigal Son, but honestly I already know how it ends.

— Paul Conlin, St Francis de Sales, Lake Zurich

▪ After attending daily 6:45 Mass for several years, for whatever reason, I stopped attending. Then, in 2011 at the St. Barnabas Fall Fest, I was approached by two of my friends who asked me why I was no longer attending, and I was at a loss for words. So, I said thanks for your concern and that I would consider “returning to the fold.” I then once again started going to daily Mass. The major benefits I get from attending daily Mass are reception of the Holy Eucharist, the great reflections Fr. Jim Donovan presents, the sense of community that exists in the atmosphere of our small Holy Spirit Chapel, and finally, I go because if I didn’t, I would definitely feel unfulfilled.

— Larry Conway, St. Barnabas, 10134 S. Longwood Dr.

▪ Being a senior citizen (73 in December), I told my children, “when I leave, look for me at Mass because you know that’s where I’ll be.” I go to daily Mass as often as I am able. I am blessed to begin my day receiving Jesus and for the privilege to put others first before myself. I go to Mass to receive the peace and love that Jesus offers to me. I go because I feel an obligation — there are others who want to be there but can’t be so I’m not there only for myself because you see, I bring them all to Jesus. When you read by the following list of offerings, I not only lose by not going but others lose more if I don’t go. I live about 4-5 blocks to my church. When I have to walk, I offer it for Poor Souls or conversions. A half hour before Mass begins, I kneel and make my offerings. Afterward I am at peace and can enjoy the Mass. I end with a miracle my daughter was blessed with at Mass! A month ago, she had a wisdom tooth pulled out and had other dental concerns. Her pain was so horrific that she couldn’t even put a straw in her mouth. A friend called her if she would go to Mass with her (she had not been attending) so she rode to the city (she lives in the suburbs) with her 3-year-old daughter to attend Mass. As she walked to the altar standing before the priest at Communion, she opened her mouth and received the Holy Eucharist! Kneeling to give thanks, she suddenly realized her mouth had opened and surprised, exclaimed, “What just happened?” She explained to me, “Mom, I had no pain and after Mass, I had very little pain, if any. Mom, I always believed, but I believe, I believe!”

— Shirley A. Rosales, St. Linus, Oak Lawn

▪ I attend daily Mass because my son is a Chicago policeman in District 11 Garfield Park. It terrifies me, but he likes it. He works nights and has been doing it for nine years. Going to daily Mass helps me deal with this.

— Virginia Horan, St. Paul of the Cross, Park Ridge

▪ Prior to 1989, I was a faithful Sunday and Holy Day attendee. I have five children now ranging in ages 56 down to 50. Never missed any of the above and took the children every time when they were younger; always keeping in mind that it was a mortal sin if I did not attend. Then in 1989, I went on my first Christ Renews His Parish retreat in Stone Park. That was a turning point in my life. I now attend every day except Mondays. I go not because I have to but because I want to. I know that whatever turmoil is in my life I can go and be in His presence and release all but also thank Him for all the good in my life. Only by consuming His Body and Blood is this complete. To me, this is the greatest miracle!

— Mary Origel, St. Benedict, Blue Island

▪ I retired from my employment 20 years ago and began attending daily Mass. It gave me a reason to rise every morning, therefore, it became a habit with me. The benefits I reap from attending daily Mass are enormous as I have had to call on God to help me through many trials. Knowing that God is a big part of my life gives me a sense of security and stability. I know that He is always with me through trials and tribulations. My mother was also a daily Mass attendee until her death at the age of 86.

— Veronica Grabowski

▪ I got into the practice of daily Mass after I retired two years ago. I am now 77 years old. I can’t think of anything more precious to me than to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. It makes me happy! I kid my friends by telling them I would like to live in church! There is a bond with all the other daily attendees. It makes me peaceful!

— Nancy Grady, Holy Cross, Deerfield

▪ I began to attend Mass daily after my retirement. Daily Mass was a calling. There is much to be prayed for. The years are falling away rapidly as is my health. Some of my personal motives are: God loves us 24/7. How can we do less? Jesus did ask, “Could you not watch one hour with me?” When I am called to stand in judgment and knock at St. Peter’s door announcing my arrival responding to his request “Who is there?” I say, “Pearl” and he says, “Never heard of you. Go to Hell.” I don’t want to go to Hell! I make myself known by attending Mass daily — to the best of my ability. Feel deeply the need to pray for peace and love in the hearts of all God’s children. I have undertaken a mission to wish all the people I meet “Have a blessed day.” Attending Mass daily has given me the strength to do so. Some people think I’m a nut. Some say, “You too.”

— Pearl Goworowski

▪ In the ‘50s, I worked in the Loop and went to St. Peter’s on Madison. There was Mass just about every half hour. Now I live in Skokie. I am in St. Lambert’s Parish. I go to daily Mass (it’s a good habit). It makes my day. I miss it when I don’t or can’t due to weather, etc. I must pray for my arthritis, weak bones. I must pray for my grandsons.

— Massgoer

▪ I did not choose my faith. My faith was handed down to me through my parents at baptism when I was one week old. Even though we were going through hard times, my parents sent me to Catholic grade school and high school because they knew the importance of nurturing the Catholic faith within me. After high school, I started dating my friend’s sister. My mom died suddenly, and this girl and her family shared their love and faith with me. She truly witnessed her love for God and neighbor, and it opened my eyes as to what life was all about. Needless to say, she became the love of my life and I married her. We have been blessed for 48 years. The sisters and priests instilled in us a respect for the Mass as the great sacrifice of Jesus our Savior. We were taught that at each Mass, Jesus gives us His body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist. He shares His life with us. This really impressed me so much that I felt the need to attend Mass each day throughout my life. It is at the Mass that I gain strength and courage to face the day with whatever it may bring. To be Catholic is to belong to the family of faith. My greatest joy is to participate daily at the 7:30 morning Mass. It is here that the “family of faith” is so evident to me. I feel we are a very close knit family. We share each other’s joys and concerns and lift each other up on positive notes. We know that no matter what, we will be there for each other. The Mass is rich in meaning. It is the heart that gives the beat to my life. Every Mass is the reenactment of the Last Supper. Jesus is asking us to be participants in His work. We cannot be merely spectators.

— Joe Sasso, Divine Providence, West Chester

▪ This coming Easter will be my ninth anniversary in which I became a member of the Roman Catholic Church converting from the Lutheran church. Upon retirement [my wife and I] both began to attend daily Mass. I was once asked by a longtime friend as to why I became a Catholic. My answer was simple; we are able to worship the Lord our God and give thanks for blessings that we receive daily. This, and being a witness to our faith in Jesus Christ, is our most basic reason to attend the daily Masses.

— Edward F. Veth, St. Eugene, 7958 W. Foster Ave.

▪ Going to Mass is a daily event that my soul looks forward as my physical needs look for the nourishment every day. The Mass is a daily reminder of the suffering dead and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Receiving the Holy Communion is the complement that, for a few seconds every day, makes my spirit fly high. It is only a few seconds but the nourishment of my body, soul and spirit every day is a heavenly treat for us humans here on Earth.

— Ruben Ramirez, St. Elizabeth Seton, Orland Hills

▪ I go to church every day because I have to thank God for all the blessings my whole family and I have received and to ask for all the blessings needed by our immediate, extended and St. Elizabeth Seton family.

— Sarah Ramirez, St. Elizabeth Seton, Orland Hills

▪ As best as I can remember, over time it was due to an ever-deepening appreciation of the Eucharist. At first, simply it was receiving the body and blood of Jesus under the appearances of bread and wine. Later I realized his soul and divinity were there too. Finally, the privilege of uniting with Jesus involves being transformed by Him to do His work. This is too awesome to fully comprehend. Yet this happens at every Mass.

— Loretta Delaney, St. Bede the Venerable, 8200 S. Kostner Ave.

▪ I have been going to daily Mass since I was in third grade. I am now 80 years old. Daily Mass is the most important thing I do every day. I have so much to be thankful for and I need to go to thank God for my many blessings.

— Rita Mugg, Lombard

▪ I attend daily Mass because I attended St. Joseph School from 1944-1953, and we went to Mass and sang in Latin every day before school. I also believe in the power of prayer, in this troubled world, it is peace. It’s a wonderful start to my day to be with my God. It will change your life.

— Barbara Burns, St. Joseph, Wilmette

▪ While I do not attend daily Mass, I have a lifetime of frequent if not daily attendance. In grammar school I attended frequently. In high school and college I attended almost daily. In adult years I attended when possible considering job and children. At present I attend daily Mass twice plus Sunday of course. I always have considered daily Mass as a necessary part of my lifestyle. I need the break from my necessary activities. I am always grateful to the Lord when I can attend.

— Carol Walsh, Our Lady of the Woods, Palos Heights

▪ When I was young, I got up each morning, washed up and left the house to go to school, and this continued on through high school and college. When I got married, I was busy with house chores and babies so I was not able to go out in the mornings, which led me to get lonely and depressed. After the children grew up I went to work so I was able to get up and leave the house and be with people. When it was time for me to retire, I asked myself, “What is going to make me get up in the morning or am I going to stay in bed and feel sorry for myself?” So I set my mind that I must go to Mass every day so then I won’t get a chance to get depressed and maybe some other good can come out of this act. So getting up and going out to mass is what I have been doing for the last 10 years. Good things have come from this besides receiving Jesus. I help with the daily readings or distribute Holy Communion. I also help clean the sanctuary area. Then, I join with a group of women to say the rosary together. We have formed a bond and help each other in other ways too. I am very thankful for my time with my friend Jesus and with my earthly friends.

— Kathy Pryst

▪ Daily Mass has given me strength and great peace over the last three years. A family member was diagnosed with brain cancer and I was overwhelmed. I asked priests and friends to pray for him. I have always prayed in the morning and evening but I felt that I needed to do more. Then I realized that I could attend daily Mass. In the past my work schedule would not allow that and now I feel blessed to be able to attend daily 7:15 Mass and be at my job before 8 a.m. It is my chance to pray at the Mass with the pastor, give adoration to God and present my petitions. It has helped me to address the many challenging situations that have happened in my life and is a wonderful way to start the day.

— Jo Ann White, St. Walter, 11722 S. Oakley Ave.

▪ Attending daily morning Mass is part of my life. It’s a blessing to be able to volunteer and be involved in many ministries. I can’t see life without the morning Mass -- receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord, saying the daily rosary and the priest’s homily. I’m 90 years old and a sacristan at our church for 30 years. Going to daily Mass makes my day.

— Mary Stojak, St. Anne

▪ Yes, it is a great gift to be able to attend Mass every day. After teaching art to children in the Catholic schools and the Chicago Public Schools for many years, and now retired and living alone, daily Mass gives me a reason to get up every morning! Active participation in the liturgy is crucial, and I am blessed to be able to serve as lector or eucharistic minister, and once a week as Sacristan. The beauty of our house of worship has truly become my home. Reading the Scripture the evening before also helps me to reflect on the message of the Gospel, and we are truly blessed because we have wonderful priests. Now I have time to try to learn who Jesus Christ is through reading, listening and reflecting. This time has also been important at this time in my life, to put my priorities in order. One of the priorities that our parish values is to serve the poor who come to our door every Friday to receive hospitality of coffee, snacks and sack lunches. This service takes place right after the 9 o’clock Mass, and when I leave church to go to assist in handing out lunches, I don’t see the Mass as having ended, but being continued on our doorsteps. The Holy Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith is now my “daily bread” and I am greatly helped through the reception of so great a gift, to remember the presence of Jesus Christ within me, around me, beyond me – throughout the day.

— Mary Bede Swisher, St. Clement, 642 W. Deming Pl.

▪ Why do I attend daily Mass? I am retired – I have the time. The joy of receiving Eucharist. Start the day with Mass. Homily. I walk to church – good exercise.

— Jerry Sunko, Sacred Heart, Winnetka

▪ Frequently, I attend weekday Mass. Daily Mass always has a number of “regulars.” Christ referred to them when He said, “These are those who are always with Me.” These are the ones who responded generously when Christ said, “He who is not with Me, is against Me.” He gave no option for neutrality! Mass is not some thing; it is Someone! Someone who will always love me with a forever love, someone who will never leave me; who gave His very life for me. This One who every day invites us to “come to me,” who humbly begs us to return love for love! This is very personal, and unless and until we open our hearts to Him, we will go on missing “the many splendored thing!” Years ago an article in a magazine captured my full attention. Seems they ran an article titled “Why I go to Mass” and published a few different answers. A “Catholic housewife” wrote, “I go to Mass because from Monday morning to Saturday night, I live in a very small world, but on Sunday morning at Mass, a Word is uttered that shakes the Universe, and I help to utter that Word!”

— Massgoer


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