by Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP
Can priests miss Mass? This little book light-heartedly depicts ten Holy Masses nearly missed by priests due to some opposition. From Kilimanjaro to Loch Ness, from Burma to Paris and more, the ten humorous short stories describe obstacles to the celebration of Holy Mass, thankfully overcome. The ten priests persevered, spurred by the conviction that Holy Mass: 1) honours God, whose extrinsic glory increases each time the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered; 2) helps souls through the temporal application of Christ’s saving merits that Holy Mass brings about; 3) fortifies priests, whose ontological raison d’être is to offer the divine Victim on the altar. Leaving aside theological arguments, Near Missed Masses entertainingly illustrates these truths through fiction.
Praise for Near Missed Masses
In the real world, which is the world that God made, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the power station feeding the life of grace. Without such grace, we die. In this volume of true stories, Fr Armand de Malleray shows us the life-giving power of the Mass in a world darkened with devildom. The light-hearted and humorous tone of the stories makes them easily readable without ignoring the gravity of the topic. — Joseph Pearce, author of biographies of J. R. R. Tolkien, Oscar Wilde, C. S. Lewis, and G. K. Chesterton
The unusual theme that unites a good number of the stories in this compendium is a scenario with which many a freshly-ordained priest will soon become familiar—the battle royal that often ensues in the attempt to secure an altar at which the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass may be offered in an atmosphere of recollection and decorum. With tact and good humour, Father de Malleray explores the intra-ecclesial prejudices and neuroses which have given rise to such a state of affairs, and illustrates how perseverance, charity and prayer are the most effective weapons we possess against suspicion and bigotry. An edifying read for both priests and laity, which we should pray will contribute to the healing of self-inflicted wounds which for too long have hampered the Church’s mission of evangelisation. — Fr Julian Large, Provost of the London Oratory
The stories in this collection give us precious evidence of the hidden persistence of the grace of the true priestly vocation in unexpected situations. The ten narratives portray priestly candidates and priests of various ages and cultures. All reveal that secret dialogue in the soul that takes place when grace is at work. Based on my experience in teaching Thomistic philosophy to seminarians for a decade and catechesis to seminarians and priests as well as lay people, I cannot recommend this book highly enough for young Catholic men and for all those who nurture vocations, or who could, but who are not sufficiently alert to the quiet presence of the Holy Spirit in many young souls. — Dr Caroline Farey, Annunciation Catechesis
In Near Missed Masses, Fr de Malleray finds a delightfully playful and imaginative way to reinvent true contemporary stories and drive home a serious point: the value of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and the zeal that we should have to celebrate (as priests) or attend (as layfaithful) this Sacrifice worthily and frequently. In this way, the book functions like the proverbial storeroom containing things both new and old! — Fr Henry Whisenant, Diocese of East Anglia (England)