The Mass Response

Barbara Little of Dickenson, North Dakota was one of the many who were disappointed with the election of a president who promised his electors to trample the rights of the unborn. Yet, Barb is not one given to despair — disappointment, yes, but not despair. Here is what she did in her own words: “After the elections, many of us were pretty disappointed as we realized that 30+ years of pro-life work could be wiped away with the stroke of a pen. Our pro-life group gathered a few days after the election to assess our efforts and develop a strategy to further the pro-life cause under the most pro-abortion leader our country has ever known. Many, many, ideas were generated that night during our brainstorming session.”

Barb kept thinking of a story that had taken hold of her. She explained: “A young friend of ours owns a shop. One day a gentleman came in and said that, as a Jew, he was offended by the crucifix she had hanging there. They got into a long discussion/debate and when they parted she said, ‘You pray for me and I will pray for you.’ Later she shared this story with her family and her younger, teen-age sister decided to have a Mass offered for the intention of this man’s conversion. Six months later the shop-owner was entering the cathedral as this man was leaving the church. He said, ‘Do you remember me? I am becoming a Catholic.'”

The power of having a Mass said for the president took hold of Barb’s imagination. What better way to intercede for someone than to have the sacrifice of the holy Mass said? She explained that she thought about it in terms of the best reaction — something that could do the greatest amount of good. So at her next pro-life meeting, Barb suggested the idea of offering Masses across the country for our new president. A friend, Jenetta Padilla, mentioned that she had a similar idea and offered to back Barb up. Both  woman had extensive nationwide contacts: Barb through a Catholic home schooling business and Jen through her involvement with Lighthouse Media.

A Plan

The effort began as a simple email, appealing to people to have a Mass said on inauguration day for the president. Given the far-reaching tentacles of the Internet, the idea spread rapidly.

It turned out that 456 Masses were officially recorded as being offered for our new president. It is likely that many more went unrecorded due to website and radio announcements that spread far and wide. A final tally showed Masses were said in 50 States, Washington, DC, Vatican City, Rome, Italy, Fatima, Portugal, the Dominican Republic, Australia, Haiti, India, United Kingdom, Kenya, Djibouti, Israel, Brazil, Ireland, and Canada. Not bad when you consider it was an idea that began as a single email. During Mass in Dickinson, ND, on inauguration day, a myriad of thoughts crossed Barb’s mind: “During the consecration, I could sense Christ’s broken heart, blood outpoured for our new president. I was so aware of how much Our Lord loves President Obama. He would have died solely for him. He did die solely for him, just as He did for me. His love is that immense.” She prayed: “Lord, may I love our new president with your love. May he sense You reaching out to him and may he respond to Your love.”

The Spiritual Bandwagon

Once upon a time, slavery was the spiritual scourge of our land. Yet, today, we have a black president. Nothing is impossible. Today, things look so bleak for the rights of the unborn. But just as the rights of Black Americans were won, so too can the rights of the unborn be won.

God can use us all in many ways, just as he used each person who had a Mass said and forwarded the email to others. Barb is just a prayerful mom who followed an inspiration. She was supported in many ways by her friend Jen and also by the many encouraging words and participation from so many others who jumped on the spiritual bandwagon.

Some of those who jumped on included a priest with a nationwide ministry, a bishop who spread the word to all the priests in his diocese, a woman who contacted sixteen ministries with handwritten letters and $10 stipends each, a couple who contacted nearly every church in their metro area, and a person who requested her first Mass ever. And let’s not forget the teenage girl who offered the Mass for the conversion of a stranger that inspired this whole effort in the first place.

Given that word spread far and wide, we don’t  know for sure the actual number of Masses that were said. Knowing that 456 were officially recorded is nothing short of awesome. Barb is considering that perhaps arranging to have Masses said for our president on the inauguration anniversary should be an annual event. What a wonderful way to show our patriotism and spiritually support our president, even if we did not vote for him.


Patti Maguire Armstrong


Patti Maguire Armstrong and her husband have ten children. She is an award-winning author and was managing editor and co-author of Ascension Press’s Amazing Grace Series. She has appeared on TV and radio stations across the country.  Her latest books, Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families and children’s book, Dear God, I Don’t Get It are both available now. To read more, visit Patti’s Catholic News and Inspiration site. Follow her on Facebook at Big Hearted Families and Dear God Books.

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  • A story like this is wonderfully encouraging. Thank you for sharing it. It gives me hope that perhaps the next four years won’t be as bad as I feared.

  • Pingback: The Mass Response | Pelican Project Pro-Life()

  • DWC

    Now, dem’s fightin’ words! The sword of truth. Kudos.

  • siobhan32

    Before the election, I prayed God for a ‘holy president’. After the election, I changed it to his conversion. And this is my daily Mass, Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy intention. God, please bless America!