[biztech-discussion] outsourcing religious services

  • From: "Samantha Clark" <sclark.abq@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <biztech-discussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2004 12:56:48 -0600

Story ran in The Hindu, June 14, 2004.


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Report finds outsourcing of religious services in US
New York, June 14.(PTI): Facing shortage of priests, Roman Catholic Churches
in the United States, Canada and Europe have for years been "outsourcing"
religious services to India and other developing countries, says a newspaper

Priests in India are handling Mass for special "intention" or requests for
services to remember deceased relatives and thanksgiving prayers.

In Kerala, which has one of the largest concentrations of Christians in
India, churches often receive intentions from overseas.

The Masses are conducted in Malayalam. The intention - often a prayer for
the repose of the soul of a deceased relative, or for a sick family member,
thanksgiving for a favour received, or a prayer offering for a newborn - is
announced at Mass, the New York Times reported.

The requests are mostly routed to Kerala's churches through the Vatican, the
bishops, or through religious bodies. Rarely, prayer requests come directly
to individual priests.

While most requests are made via mail or personally through travelling
clergymen, a significant number arrive via e-mail, a sign that technology is
expediting this practice.

In Kerala's churches, memorial and thanksgiving prayers conducted for local
residents are said for a donation of Rs 40 (90 cents), whereas a prayer
request from the US typically comes with five dollars, the Indian priests
were quoted as saying.

Bishop Sebastian Adayanthrath, the auxiliary bishop of the
Ernakulam-Angamaly diocese in Cochin, told the paper that his diocese
received an average of 350 Mass intentions a month from overseas. Most were
passed to needy priests.

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