ASK FATHER: Bless or exorcize new home?

From a reader…


I’m a long time reader of your blog and thank you for your ministry.

My wife and I are in the final stages of purchasing our first house. When we went to see the house the first time we noticed that the current residents were Indian and of the Hindu religion. We know this because not only of the smell of curry throughout the house but also because of the small shrines and altars throughout the house. While I can appreciate ones conviction towards one’s faith, my wife said we should make sure the house is blessed before we move in. My question is, should we just simply bless the house or should more drastic means of blessing and/or exorcism take place since the house was inhabited by those of another faith? If so, what would be the proper thing to do? Thank you for taking the time to answer this question.

First, it is never wrong to have your house blessed!  Let’s put that another way.  It is always right to have your house blessed.  In Italy, for example, parish priests go about in the Easter season to bless dwellings, even putting up posters in neighborhoods saying when he will “strike” on that block, etc.

I doubt that you would need an exorcism of a place for your house.   You should start with the blessing.  Should you have any other concerns after that, then talk to the priest about the exorcism of a place.

Dear readers, talk to your priests about blessings, blessings of objects, places and yourselves.   There are different sorts of blessings (in spite of what the Praenotanda of the dreadful “Book of ‘Blessings'” says).  There are constitutive and invocative blessings.   Some blessings call God’s favor down and others constitute something or some place (and sometimes a person) as sacred or consecrated.

We need to use all the tools in our wonderful Catholic toolbox, including sacramentals, so established by constitutive blessings, and the right use of the Sacraments.

And don’t forget to examine your consciences and…


Congratulations on your new home.  May you thrive in it.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. APX says:

    As Christmas quickly approaches, let’s not forget the Epiphany House Blessing. Our priests go around each week following epiphany Blessing all the houses of parishioners.

    When it comes to rental property, I would ask for an exorcism over a place. Right now there are Wiccans living in the house I used to rent, which was a duplex attached to a house of men living in blatant sins of sodomy. Who knows what gets dragged in with it all.

  2. Joe in Canada says:

    Dear Father,
    would this mean the house can never be sold?

  3. Muv says:

    Why even think of exorcism without having any evidence of diabolical activity?
    I wish I knew a family of Indians. I would be round there for home cooked curry once a week.

  4. cwhitty says:

    Can a priest curse a place or thing though?

  5. un-ionized says:

    Joe, No, but if you have your car blessed you have to bury it in the garden when it wears out. (kidding).

    A priest can’t and wouldn’t curse anything.

  6. iamlucky13 says:

    Growing up in a small parish, we’d occasionally invite the pastor over for dinner. Perfect opportunity for a house blessing.

    We’re at a far larger parish now. I’m not sure he’d ever be able to make the time.

  7. Michael_Thoma says:

    Muv says:
    27 October 2016 at 1:46 PM
    Why even think of exorcism without having any evidence of diabolical activity?
    I wish I knew a family of Indians. I would be round there for home cooked curry once a week.


    Where do you live? Stop on over – we’ll do the Malankara Syriac Evening prayer to get us nice and hungry!

  8. Muv says:

    Michael_Thoma – I shall be delighted to visit. My co-ordinates are 51°27’N 2°35’W. Does that mean an air ticket to get to your place? If so, I’ll learn the prayers on the plane. How about a nice roast leg of English lamb at our place?

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