All Saints’ Day is one of my two favorite feast days. At its best the readings stir in me the desire for heaven, to be with Jesus, Mary, and all the Saints in heaven.  It’s also a booster shot for hope to remember that there are many Saints in heaven that the Church has not formally recognized; there might even be a place for me, for you.  All Saints’ Day is on Wednesday, November 1.  See the bulletin for Mass times.

Immediately after remembering the victorious souls in heaven, we remember the poor souls in purgatory: All Souls’ Day on November 2. November is the end of the liturgical year, so there is a shift toward the four “last things:” death, judgment, heaven, and hell.  We confront the reality of death by calling to mind our loved ones who have died and by praying for them.  St. Julie’s will have a Memorial Mass in the evening on All Souls’ Day.  St. Peter’s and St. Joseph will remember the deceased of the past year next weekend.  St. Stephen Cemetery will mark All Souls’ Day and honor the deceased by having an interment of cremains that afternoon.  The teaching of the Church recognizes that the body of the deceased is holy on account of his or her baptism.  We acknowledge that holiness by burial of the dead (a spiritual work of mercy) and, in the case of cremains, by interring the cremated remains in consecrated ground.  If you or someone you know would like to honor the ashes of a loved one in this way, they can contact St. Stephen’s Cemetery. 

The Church’s liturgical year confronts the reality of death each November in the feasts of All Saints’ and All Souls’. It is difficult, but we are strengthened by the assurance of hope and that we need not go through it alone.  We have hope because Jesus conquered death when he rose from the dead.  As a kind gesture, reach out to someone who has lost a loved one to ensure that our brothers and sisters in Christ do not go through the loss alone.

The teaching of the Church recognizes that the body of the deceased is holy on account of his or her baptism. We acknowledge that holiness by burial of the dead (a spiritual work of mercy) and, in the case of cremains, by interring the cremated remains in consecrated ground.  If you or someone you know would like to honor the ashes of a loved one in this way, they can contact St. Stephen’s Cemetery.

Praying for the living and the dead is a spiritual work of mercy. All Soul’s Day – and the whole month of November – remember in a special way the souls in purgatory.  To encourage prayer for the souls in purgatory, an indulgence for a deceased person can be obtained once a day for visits to a cemetery from Nov. 2-8.  The usual conditions apply.

What a joy to know, love, and serve the God who offers us eternal life. 

In Christ,

 Fr. Rob