Dear St. Alphonsus family:
When I was a child, I was not a big fan of Halloween. I know why. What was and is oftentimes emphasized at Halloween is fear of the dead. It was believed by the Celtic people that evil spirits roamed the earth on the last night of the Celtic year (October 31) and that they worked mischief among the living. Part of Celtic belief was that one could live safely through the night by dressing up as a ghost, witch, etc. in order to “blend in” or bribing the evil spirits with treats. Nevertheless Halloween can be a fun time of fellowship for people.
November is a month when we traditionally remember our beloved deceased and our fellowship with them. This is how I spiritually make sense of it all. November 1st is the Feast of All Saints and November 2nd is the Feast of All Souls. The Catholic feasts of All Saints and All Souls Day offer recognition of our Communion of the Saints (fellowship) with those who have gone before us.
Feast of All Saints – The Feast of All Saints is the celebration of our relationship with those who have preceded us to Heaven. There are many officially canonized saints and oh so many not officially canonized, many of whom are our relatives and friends. As of the time of their passing to eternal life, they take on a new full-time call: they pray for us, day-in and day-out. We aks for their intercession and we pray for them. We have a relationship with them!
Feast of All Souls – The Feast of All Souls reminds us of our obligations to live holy lives and that there will be purification of the souls of those destined for Heaven – in this life or in purgatory.
Enjoy the Feasts! Celebrate eternal life!
Fr. Ed Vella, C.Ss.R