Q. 1. I heard that we can send Mass Stipends to priests to have them pray a Novena for our intentions. I found a website to Saint Jude that accepts $10.00 per intention per Novena. Is this practice Catholic?
A. 1. First of all, it should be noted that a "Mass Stipend" is an offering of love that is given to the priest for his daily needs in exchange for the priest's acceptance to celebrate a requested Mass for a specific person or intention. Anyone can request that a priest celebrate the Holy Mass for their intention, even if an offering (gift) cannot be made.
This practice is not a payment for service. It is an offering to support the priest in his needs. It is against the Catholic Church's teaching to purchase a Mass.
Secondly, the website that is advertising $10.00 per intention per Novena is not Roman Catholic. It is one of those religions that uses the term "Catholic" to deceive Roman Catholics and take advantage of their devotion to Saint Jude for the purpose of taking the money of those who are ignorant of Catholic teachings, often of no fault of their own.
Within the Catholic Church, there is no such practice as giving Mass Stipends for Novenas. If a large number of persons, even a dozen persons, were to pay a priest to say 9 daily prayers (Novenas) for them, such prayers would demand so much time of the priest that he would not have time to perform the ministry of priesthood for which he was ordained. For that reason alone, no priest would accept payment for specific prayers.
The Holy Mass is the greatest prayer that the faithful can offer up to God the Father. Novena to the saints, while they are pious devotions that are worthy of praise, they do not surpass, nor come near, the celebration of the Holy Mass.