Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
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The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, commonly called All Souls Day, is a special remembrance of those who were near and dear to us in this life and who are now in Purgatory awaiting their entrance into Heaven. All of our beloved dead – ancestors, parents, relatives, friends and benefactors rely upon our prayers and sacrifices, first and foremost the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, to purify their souls before that great and glorious reception into the company of the saints, whose solemnity we observed yesterday.
At our 10:30 AM Mass today we solemnly proclaim the names of parishioners who have died this past year. Some may already be in the presence of the Lord; others may still be awaiting that day in hope and joyful expectation. Recently, a beloved priest and personal friend parted from this life after having worked so hard in the Vineyard of the Lord, Father Benedict Joseph Groeschel. So often I would hear him say: “I can’t wait to go to Purgatory.” Such a holy man making such a remark was a bit shocking. But Father knew that we are all sinners in God’s eyes and must rely upon the Lord’s mercy to sanctify and prepare us for eternity. Another great statement from Father Groeschel was, “Are you ready?” We on retreat with him knew exactly what he meant. And so it gives all of us pause to ask that question of ourselves. If the Lord calls us this day or night, are we ready? How comforting to know then that there is that “waiting room” just outside of Heaven where we can “clean-up” before beholding the Beatific Vision.
As we keep All Souls in our prayers and Masses, let us be ever grateful to God that He gives us this final chance to make things right by enduring a temporal suffering for eternal happiness.
On this day a plenary indulgence is granted, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, when the faithful visit a cemetery and pray for the departed. The indulgence is plenary (full) each day from November 1– 8.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them.