Dear Columban Friends,
The entire month of November is dedicated to “those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith.” The month’s remembrance begins with the Feast of All saints on November 1, a holy day of obligation. As Catholics, on every Sunday and holy day, we profess that we “believe in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.” It is that profession that captures what the entire month of November represents for prayer and reflection within the church.
When most of us consider the saints, we think of those canonized by formal church process. However, “saints” are also those who, due to their dedication and witness to Jesus Christ during their time on earth, now rest with Him and their fellow saints in eternity. Truly, they “behold the face of God,” for that is what we believe and what we profess. We remain connected to them and their memories as they remain connected to us. While we honor them, they intercede for us, their beloved ones, with God.
All Souls Day follows on November 2 and begins the prayerful remembrance of those who continue their journey in heaven. They too will be fully united to God and all of the saints in due time. Those of us who remain behind help to accelerate their journey through our prayers.
“It is, therefore, a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins.” – 2 Maccabees 12:45-46
Remembering our faithful departed is “one of the most beautiful expressions of the Catholic spirit.” – Pope St. John XXIII
This year on All Saints Day as you attend Mass, pray to God with gratitude for these heroes of our faith and celebrate their lives. On All Souls Day and throughout the rest of November, pray for those who are no longer with us here but are making their way to heavenly glory, those whose names and lives we know and those who are known only to the God.
Please know that Columban missionaries worldwide pray with you during this month. To make your and our prayers more specific, we encourage you to list your intentions by filling out our online form with your prayer intentions.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. In gratitude for all you do for us and for those we serve, we will remember you and your intentions in 100 special Masses throughout the month of November.
Gratefully Yours in Christ,
Fr. Chris Saenz | Director, U.S. Region