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Q. Every year during the holidays my mailbox becomes filled with premiums from various charities. It is impossible for me to send a donation to all of these groups. What am I required to do with the unsolicited premiums I receive with the appeal?

A. If you find a premium useful, keep it. If not, throw it away or give it to someone who may find it useful. You have no other obligation, and you certainly are not obligated to give money to the organization that sent it to you. Premiums that charitable organizations send with their pitch for donations is part of the fund-raising “gift and take.”


Q. With COVID-19 still a concern, is there any obligation to attend Mass on Christmas Day? If it works out like it usually does, these Masses are packed with people. I do not see how attendance would be safe. I am quite concerned.

A. Your local bishop and pastor should make you aware of the options in your diocese. In a pandemic, “one size does not fit all.” Individual Catholics may dispense themselves from the obligation to attend Mass for a serious reason. Your concern reflects your reasoning and the physical and psychological conditions in which you find yourself. To me, that suggests you have more than fulfilled the obligation required for an individual dispensation.

Published inSA Mailbox