Dear St. Al’s Parishioners,
We have just completed the celebration of two special days in our church calendar. Wednesday, we celebrated All Saints Day. This is a day that the Church concentrates on remembering all the humans who have lived lives wherein they sought to do God’s will. These are people who loved God and loved their neighbors (as we saw Jesus command us in last Sunday’s Gospel). Though they are not officially canonized, the Church still proclaims them to be with our loving God. This feast may very well someday be our feast day!
Thursday, we celebrated All Souls Day. One of our Catholic beliefs is that sometimes, when people die, they are not quite ready to enter into the rest of God’s heaven. They still have some need of purification. The Church does not say much more than this. As Catholics, we are asked to remember these people in our prayers. We know that they will absolutely be admitted to heaven, but with our love and support, we assist them in the meantime.
During this whole month of November, we are asked to especially remember our dead loved ones. Though the body has died, we know that their souls still live. There is a Communion of Saints: the life of Christ which we received in Baptism unites us all forever as brothers and sisters! We here on earth pray for the souls in purgatory, while the souls in purgatory and the saints in heaven intercede with God for us. That is the way families are supposed to work! Pray with confidence for your deceased loved ones, because we know our God is so merciful. Be assured that those same deceased loved ones are busy praying for you! They miss you and look forward to the day you will be with them again.
Sincerely, Fr. Brian Johnson, C.Ss.R.