Near Missed Masses: A new book by Fr. Armand de Malleray FSSP

Fr. Armand de Malleray, author of X-Ray of a Priest in a Field Hospital and Ego Eimi: It is I, has a new book out with Arouca Press titled Near Missed Masses: Ten Short Stories Based on Actual Events:

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 FareyAnnunciation 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)

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About the Author

Born in 1971 in the Loire Valley, Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP, left France in 1994 after completing a Master’s Degree in Literature at the Sorbonne in Paris. He taught French at the Military Academy in Budapest before joining the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter in 1995 in Bavaria, where he was ordained in 2001. His first priestly assignment was in London, Southwark Archdiocese. He served in England since, apart from five years in Switzerland, then in an administrative position at his Fraternity’s headquarters. Since 2008, he has been the editor of Dowry, the quarterly magazine of his Fraternity in the UK & Ireland. Fr de Malleray has been chaplain to the international Juventutem youth movement since its inception in 2004 (cf., and to the Confraternity of St Peter, his Fraternity’s international prayer-network for priestly vocations. Since 2015, he is the rector of St Mary’s Shrine in Warrington, Liverpool Archdiocese, where he also oversees the apostolate of his Fraternity in England and promotes vocations to the priesthood and to the religious life.

June 17, 2021