Saturday,October 28th – Sunday, November 5th

Click here to download this week’s bulletin. November is traditionally the month of All Souls in the popular devotion of Catholics. It starts with the Feast of All Saints on November 1st and the commemoration of All the Faithful Departed on November 2nd. Through the whole month we keep praying for those who were dear to us and for all souls who have completed their earthly journey whether recently or a long time ago. Does it make any sense to pray for the dead? Of course it does. First, through our prayer we continue to show our love for those who are no longer with us. When we die even our human needs come to an end. A deceased person has no use of food, clothes, or gifts. But we still need to express our love for them, a love that death itself cannot terminate. Flowers, candles, and above all prayers is what we need to show our boundless love for our loved ones. In prayer, we entrust our dear ones to the merciful love of God, who alone can fulfill their deep longing for eternity. God has made each of His creatures for Him and the human heart and soul can find rest only in Him.

Through the Prayer for the Dead we also confess our strong faith in Christ’s resurrection that is a pledge of our own resurrection. If there is no resurrection, if there is no life after death, why should we pray for our deceased brothers and sisters? I dread that the fact that Christian communities and individuals pray less and less for the Dead reflects a weakening of our faith in the resurrection and life everlasting. When we profess the communion of Saints in the Creed, we affirm that the Saints in Paradise, the Souls in Purgatory, and we, the living on this earth, are all united in the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection. The Apostle, Paul, in the Letter to the Romans reminds us that we were all baptized in the death of our Lord Jesus. We were buried with Him so that we might share in His resurrection. To us living, Paul reminds that none of us lives for oneself and no one dies for oneself. For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. And in the Letter to the Philippians He writes: “Our citizenship is in Heaven and from it, we also await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body.” The stronger this truth is held and the more we feel compelled to pray for those who sleep in Christ. “Eternal rest grant unto them, Oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.”

Fr. Antonio Nardoianni, OFM