Dear Friends in Christ
As the weather is changing at this time of year, so too is the mood of the Church. The start of November signals the month of the Holy Souls in which we pray more earnestly for the departed who are in Purgatory. Prior to that, on Thursday (1st) we shall celebrate All Saints. This is the common celebration of all those living now with God in heaven. It is the great company of witnesses that is spoken of in the last book of the Bible. We look to them as models, and as friends who will help us along the way of our own pilgrimage to eternal life. So the two days of All Saints and All Souls remind us most especially of the only really important truths that we need to be concerned with: living and dying in friendship with God, so as to get to Heaven. Our great charity at this time is remember to pray for all those who have died and have not yet reached eternal light with God and the Saints. We can do this by attending Holy Mass for them, praying for them and visiting their graves. A special plenary indulgence can be gained for the souls in Purgatory on All Souls Day. A plenary indulgence removes all temporal punishment for sin—and so, in effect, releases a soul from Purgatory. To obtain the plenary indulgence, you must visit a church or cemetery (we have the Memorial Garden beside the church) and pray for them; recite one Our Father and the Creed, receive Communion, and pray one additional Our Father and one Hail Mary for the intentions of the Holy Father. (In addition, you must have no attachment to sin.) The final requirement is that you go to the Sacrament of Confession, but you can do that up to seven days before or afterwards. We need to be generous in this prayer and offering as some day we ourselves may be in need of the prayers of those we leave behind. Besides, many of our own family and friends may be waiting for our prayers and for Mass to be offered for them, so that they will be helped in the final leg of their journey towards life with God in Heaven.
You might like to note the dates of the Parish Requiem Masses and cemetery visits under the Dates for the Diary section of the Newsletter.
God bless you!
Msgr Kevin Hale