All Saints Day & All Souls Day from Deacon Jack Wilson
Friday November 1, All Saints Day is a holy day of obligation in the Diocese of Sacramento. We are obligated to come to Mass on Nov 1 just like Sundays. It is a sin to decide to skip Mass on a holy day of obligation and not the best choice in my opinion. We come to Mass that day to honor the Saints, the departed faithful who are in heaven, beholding the face of our Lord.
I recently attended a funeral Mass out at Calvary Chapel in Citrus Heights. Many parishioners from Saint John’s are buried out there so it was a time to remember them and how they made me feel welcome when I first started attending Mass here. It was also a time to remember my friend Monsignor Pellegrino who passed in 2011. Anyone who attended Mass when he was preaching at Saint John’s would hear about the Saints. They were his favorite subject by far. He would talk about the extraordinary things they performed and the extraordinary lives they lived. They inspired him and he strived to introduce them to us. I think Monsignor’s second favorite thing was to tell us funny stories when we would have coffee with him after Mass. I said a prayer when I was in the Chapel at Calvary Cemetery that Monsignor is keeping everyone in the Father’s house laughing with his stories.
Following All Saints Day is the Commemoration of All Faithful Departed or All Souls day on Saturday. This is a special time to come and pray for all those who have left this world undergoing purification in purgatory. We pray for our loved ones, our ancestors, our friends
and fellow parishioners who have gone before us. My point in bringing up my memories at Calvary Chapel is that November is a special month to remember those who have gone before us.
I remember when Father Art was assigned to our parish many years ago. Father Art had a special interest for All Souls day. When I asked him about it he said “I go out to the Cemeteries during November so I can pray and help the souls in purgatory. I hope that when I have passed, oth
ers will pray for me” (not to worry, Fr. Art is still alive and well). All of us who die in God’s grace and friendship are assured of our eternal salvation yet after death, we need to undergo purification to achieve the holiness necessary to enter heaven (Cf. ccc 1030). Praying for the dead is one way the living can help those being purified in purgatory.
It may seem strange that our prayers can have an effect on people who are not living but perhaps you are only thinking of this world, a physical world where everything is constrained by time. The spiritual world – where God lives, is not constrained by time. God can use the prayers he receives for anyone throughout the history of the world. Spend some time before November to recall people in your life that could benefit. We will have envelopes available at the Church for you to write the names of those you wish to pray for in the month of November. Please fill them out and turn the envelopes into the ushers when you come to Mass so they can be collected together and placed on the Altar.
Come to Mass on All Saints day to honor the Saints and again on All Souls day to pray for our brethren in purgatory.
on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at 11:35AM