The Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed (All Souls)

My dear parishioners and friends of our parish community: “Give them eternal rest, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine on them forever.” 

 Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is the proper entrance antiphon for today’s Feast of All Souls Day.  Today and every November 2nd, we remember our family and friends who have gone before us in faith and who have died.  All Souls Day is the proper day to visit the graves of loved ones.  We also take the time to pray today for the souls of those who have died, yet who are in need of purification before beholding God face-to-face. 

 November is the month dedicated to prayer for the souls in Purgatory.  Who are the people for whom you will offer your prayers on this day of remembrance?  Following the 10:00 AM Mass today, we will have a procession to the cemetery directly behind St. John Church.  Here are laid to rest the original builders of our beautiful Gothic brownstone Church and early parishioners of St. John Parish, the first Catholic Church established in the City of Middletown.  Please join me in the cemetery (weather permitting) immediately after the 10:00 AM Mass for brief prayer and blessing of the graves. 

 There is given by the Church a special plenary indulgence, applicable to souls in Purgatory, for everyone who visits a cemetery daily between November 1st and November 8th and offers prayers for the faithfully departed.  Let us make the words of the entrance antiphon our own on this day of remembrance and prayer.  May those who have died know the eternal rest and perpetual light of heaven.

 Tuesday, November 4th, is ELECTION DAY in the United States of America.  Father Frank A. Pavone, the National Director of Priests for Life, offers this advice, which I gladly share with you as your Pastor during this crucial presidential election: 1) Vote Early!  Vote first thing on Tuesday morning – especially after attending morning Mass.  If you wait, you increase the chances of something preventing you.  The earlier you vote, the better.  2) Help other pro-lifers vote.  Offer rides to the polls.  Maybe you know a pro-lifer who is stuck at home without a car.  Organize trips to the polls on a wider scale.  Offer babysitting.  Email and telephone.  Remind pro-life friends that it is voting day in America.  3) Avoid overconfidence or dejection.  If the election goes the way you want, don’t become overconfident or complacent.  Work harder than ever to encourage and assist those who you helped elect.  If it does not go the way you want, set your energies on challenging those who were elected to govern our nation in a way that follows the moral law.  In any case: PRAY!  Pray for our nation on November 4th, 2008!  Nothing is impossible for Almighty God.  Pray for the family and the unborn in America. The Catholic is unabashedly PRO-LIFE.  The Catholic Church in America is a PEOPLE OF LIFE!  VOTE PRO-LIFE!  Jesus Christ is the WAY, the TRUTH, and THE LIFE!

                                                                                Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever! 
A prayerful and peace-filled All Souls Day! 
Father Jim 

               GREGORIAN CHANT – Vexílla Regis

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