Dear Parishioners: The month of October is coming to an end and so we await the celebrations this week of Halloween, the All Saints Holy Day and the Feast of All Souls.   As we turn the calendar to November, we are called by the Church in to pray for our departed brothers and sisters.  November begins with the great feast of All Saints, a holy day of obligation for all Catholics, and a day we recall in faith all those who are known officially as saints and those  saintly people known only to God.  I hope you make  every effort to come to one of the four Holy Day Masses this week.

On Friday, we celebrate the Feast of All Souls, when we recall all our beloved dead and all the souls in purgatory. Prayer for the dead is a spiritual work of mercy and it is an essential part of our witness to God’s love and mercy. Prayer for the dead both honors the memory of the dead and expresses our continuing love of them by assisting them to be freed of any temporal punishment due to sin and to reach their lasting home with God.  Let us pledge our prayers for our beloved dead as we recall of the words of Saint John Chrysostom in the 4th Century:  “Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.”

In a very special way on Friday night at 7:00pm we  gather to pray for our fellow OLM parishioners who have died in the last year.  I invite you to join the families of these good souls as we gather as a parish to pray for all those who grieve and to offer Mass for the repose of the faithful departed of Our Lady of Mercy.  A reception  follows in the OLM School Cafeteria.  If you cannot attend, please remember to pray for them and for all the dead during this All Souls’ Month of November.

On Halloween night I will be giving candy out  to any children from Our Lady of Mercy and from the local neighborhood in costume.  Trick or Treaters are welcome to stop by the Third Street Rectory door from 6:00pm until 8:00pm for an old fashioned, full-size candy bar!  Of course, for those parish children who come to the All Saints Vigil Mass on Tuesday night at 5:00pm, there might just be an extra treat!  So please stop by if you are heading out for tricks or treats on Halloween!

A Day of Adoration and Prayer for Election 2012 is scheduled for this Monday, October 29th.  Eucharistic Adoration  begins after the 7:30am Mass and all throughout the day parishioners are invited to stop by Church and spend some time in prayerful adoration before the Eucharistic Lord.  In a special way we pray for all candidates for public office and for our town, state and nation as we prepare to vote.  We conclude the day with October Devotions including a homily on “Faithful Citizenship” by Father John Codega.  Hope to see you  in Church this week.  Happy Halloween!  Happy All Saints!! God Bless.