Holy Days Give Us Hope in God’s Forgiveness
Bishop Malloy Celebrates the Saints at All Saints Catholic Academy
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
November 11, 2021
ROCKFORD—All Saints Catholic Academy students joined teachers and a handful of parishioners at a special Mass celebrated by Bishop David Malloy on the feast of All Saints, Nov. 1, at St. James Church.
Students helped with music, readings and intentions, bringing forth the gifts of bread and wine as well as singing songs and listening carefully to Bishop Malloy’s homily.
In his homily, the bishop began by saying, “I’m really glad to do this for All Saints Academy on All Saints Day — this day that we celebrate all the saints. And I hope for you that really means something. … You are going to school in a place that commemorates them.”
“But why does the Church celebrate all the saints?” he asked. “Let’s start with this: to be a saint is the reason that we have this school … we try and teach you all kinds of skills … so that you’re really ready to start to contribute to the world. But there’s one thing that’s more important, and it’s way more important … 
“You are prepared and taught and supported in being a saint … that sometime in the future after you and I have gone to the Lord, that All Saints Day may be our day as well.”
The bishop reflected on how saints are more than just nice people, more even than just regularly-good people.
A saint, he said, “is someone who is already in heaven (after they) stood before Christ for their first judgment, as we all will, to kind of show Him the book of their life.”
Not everyone will want to show Jesus their book of life “because not everyone has written that book well,” he said. “We teach you how to act and live so that you please Jesus.” 
The Church recognizes and honors certain saints, he said, “but there are many more saints that have not been recognized by the Church — but they are truly saints. And those are the ones we probably have more contact with.”
He mentioned that those saints may include a holy neighbor, grandparents, a teacher, and he noted that “except for Mary, every one of them was a sinner, and every one of them was forgiven. That gives you and me so much hope. Because we do make mistakes, we do sin; that’s why we have confession.”
Relics of several saints were on display in reliquaries under the parish’s statues of Mary and Joseph.  
Bishop Malloy noted that “part of what we do is we use (relics) as a reminder to pray for them and ask them to pray for us …
“They’re looking at you; they’re looking at me.  They don’t want you to get lost. … they are looking at you and praying (for you),” he said.
Bishop Malloy described two times when he met living saints: a breakfast with St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta and a lunch with St. Pope John Paul II. With both, he said, “you had this feeling … a presence there” of someone who “was so committed to Christ, to the Church” and who had him realizing, “There’s something there that I need to ask God for.”
The bishop ended by looking ahead to the following day’s feast of All Souls, noting that “every one of them is going to become a saint in heaven,” once they have been perfected in purgatory.
We “don’t have to die perfect,” he said, “but (God) gives you and me the privilege to be praying for those who are being purified. You can pray for those you have loved, and maybe even pray for those souls in purgatory that nobody remembers.”
Their school, the desire to become a saint and the Church’s prayers all come together for faith, he said, concluding, “What a great thing to be going to school at All Saints Academy.”
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