Nuptial Mass Support 

In your January/February 2010 issue Father Francis Hoffman provided a good answer to the “No Nuptial Mass?” inquiry. In support of Father Hoffman’s response, I would point out that in the Introduction to the Rite of Marriage it clearly states, “In a marriage between a Catholic and a baptized person who is not Catholic, the regulations which appear below in the rite of marriage outside Mass (nos. 39-54) shall be observed. If suitable, and if the Ordinary of the place gives permission, the rite for celebrating marriage within Mass (nos. 19-38) may be used, except that, according to the general law, communion is not given to the non-Catholic” (No. 8). 

Catholic clerics, and all Catholics, are called to follow liturgical instructions and guidelines. Thus the normal practice in the situation of a marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic is that the marriage rite is to occur outside of Mass. The marriage rite for a wedding between a Catholic and baptized non-Catholic can only be celebrated within Mass if it is suitable and the proper ordinary (bishop) gives permission. The Rite of Marriage was revised after the Second Vatican Council, as were the rituals for all the sacraments. So, the exchanging of vows outside of Mass for a wedding between a Catholic and baptized non-Catholic is not pre-Vatican II, but is in complete accordance with Vatican II. I pray that God will continue to bless you in your work in offering such a good resource as TCA for people to learn the truth about the Catholic faith. 

Father Ronald T. Browne, Marquette, Mich. 

Spiritual Direction 

I’ve enjoyed your magazine immensely for 20 years, and in the last issue, there was an article about spiritual direction that concerned me (“What Is a Spiritual Director?” March/April). There was no mention of certified spiritual directors, such as we have in the Cleveland diocese, who do get compensated for their work. I am a Certified Pastoral Minister and plan to be educated in spiritual direction in a few years. It is our understanding that compensation is appropriate and “not a danger sign.” Thank you. 

Ellen M Barber, via e-mail  

Woodeene Konig-Bricker replies: The danger lies in directors who claim to have the “truth” and will reveal it to you only for a fee. Paul talks about giving freely what we have been given, and that has been the hallmark of spiritual direction in the Church. While some dioceses do provide certified spiritual direction with compensation being part of the agreement, money should never stand in the way of getting good spiritual counsel. If your diocese has a qualified program for spiritual direction, and if you know exactly what the fees are before you begin, then compensation can be appropriate. However, if you approach someone for guidance and they will only talk to you after you “show them the money,” a healthy caution is in order. Since most parishes and dioceses do not offer fee-based spiritual guidance, the article was addressing the norm, not a particular diocesan situation.