October ends this Tuesday on Halloween! Of course, All Hallows Eve is truly a night to prepare for the month of November when we celebrate All Saints and All Souls. So enjoy the costumes and the candy on Tuesday night but make sure to attend the All Saints Holy Day Mass on Wednesday.
November 1st is the great Solemnity of All Saints as the Church celebrates all the saints, those canonized or beatified, and the multitude of those who are in Heaven enjoying the beatific vision that are only known to God. During the early centuries the Saints venerated by the Church were all martyrs. Later on the Popes set November 1st as the day for commemorating all the Saints.
We all have this "universal call to holiness." What must we to do in order to join the company of the saints in Heaven? We "must follow in His footsteps and conform ourselves to His image seeking the will of the Father in all things. We must devote
ourselves with all our being to the glory of God and the service of our neighbor. In this way, the holiness of the People of God will grow into an abundant harvest of good, as is admirably shown by the life of so many saints in Church history" (Lumen Gentium, 40).
We have four Masses for the Solemnity of All Saints so that you might fulfill your obligation. On Tuesday there is a Vigil Mass at 5:00PM and on the Wednesday there are three Holy Day Masses at 7:30am, 9:00am and 7:00pm.
We also celebrate All Souls Day on Thursday with three Masses. There are Masses at 7:30am, 9:00am and 12Noon. The 9:00am Mass is for the OLM School but all are welcome to join us. Following this Mass, the Middle School Students are to process to St. Patrick's Cemetery for a brief prayer service for all the souls who rest in that sacred place. The Noon All Souls Mass features beautiful music fitting the feast.
The Church, after rejoicing on All Saints with those of her children who have entered the glory of Heaven, prays on All Souls Day for all those who, in the purifying of purgatory await the day when they are to be joined to the company of saints. By virtue of the consoling doctrine of the communion of saints the merits and prayers of each one of us are able to help all souls. The Church is able to join Her prayer with that of the saints in Heaven and supply what is wanting to the souls in purgatory by means of Holy Mass, and also the alms and sacrifices of Her children.
We remember all the souls in purgatory on All Souls Day but in particular we remember the names of your own beloved dead inscribed on the All Souls Envelopes. They are to be remembered throughout the month of November as they are placed upon the altar. Let us continue to pray for the poor souls in purgatory. In a special way we also remember the sixty OLM parishioners who have died this past year. We do this on Sunday, November 5th at the 10:30am Mass. Their families have been invited to join us at the Mass as we remember them.
Let us continue to pray for these grieving families who have experienced the pain and sorrow of a death of a loved one. As we pledge our prayers for our own beloved dead and for all souls this month, we are reminded 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.”
Next Sunday we welcome Bishop Checchio of Metuchen, NJ for the Conferral of the Sacrament of Confirmation for 88 of our parish young adults. Confirmation Mass is at the usual parish 5:00pm Sunday evening Mass. Please continue to pray for the candidates and their sponsors as they receive the Sacrament.
St. Pope John Paul the Great teaches us: “Through the seal of the Spirit conferred by Confirmation, the Christian attains his/her full identity and becomes aware of his/her mission in the Church and the world.”
As the month of October comes to an end and the month of November begins please note the change of time for the Saturday evening Mass from 5:00pm to 4:00pm. Also Confessions on Saturday afternoons move from 4:00pm to 3:00pm. This “fall back” in time continues until Saturday, April 7, 2018 so plan accordingly!
Do good. Be well. God Bless! Go Pats!