All Souls Day: A Time to Remember and Pray
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
November 9, 2023
WINNEBAGO—The mausoleum at Calvary Cemetery was a fitting setting for Bishop David Malloy’s All Souls Day Mass the morning of Nov. 2. The bishop celebrated the Mass with the assistance of Deacon Peter Addotta for those who gathered for this important and effective prayer of the Church.
The Mass was celebrated specifically for the more than 400 people who were buried since last Nov. 2 at Calvary Cemetery-Freeport, St. Joseph Cemetery-Freeport, St. Mary/St. James Cemetery-Rockford, or at Calvary Cemetery-Winnebago. A list of the past year’s deceased was provided to each person as they entered the warmth of the building on the brisk sunny day.
Bishop Malloy noted his longtime fondness for the two feast days at the beginning of November: All Saints on Nov. 1, and All Souls on Nov. 2.
All Saints Day, he noted, includes more than those recognized by the Church as saints, but also family members and others who have been made perfect and holy and ready to be with God.
“What if we die … without our full heart given to God …?” Bishop Malloy asked. “We can well imagine that for most the answer will be that is how we are going to pass. But this day reminds us that is not a cause for fear. It is rather a cause for doing exactly what we’re doing, which is to recognize again … God’s love, His desire that we be with Him … God wants us to be with Him.
“Purgatory then, is great news in the faith. There is still hope for us … there is still hope for loved ones. … God gives that opportunity for that final purification.”
The bishop called it a “privilege” to be able to help others in that final purification.
“One way (to help) is to assist … with pious prayers and actions and applying to them those indulgences that the Church has established,” he said. “This is not some magical mystical something, but it is an understanding that the grace of Christ on the cross and the forgiveness of sin continues through history to flow through the Church. …
“It is very much like an application of what we read in the Gospel, of Christ hanging next to the good thief, turning to him saying, ‘This day you will be with me in paradise.’”
The Catholic faith brings hope to its members, he noted.
“Our union and communion with those souls in purgatory is not broken in death … (but in death) we feel it. It somehow causes a wound and a pain in our hearts. But it would be so much worse if we did not have the hope that we are still in communion with those who have gone before us … the greater promise of faith that we will gain them with Christ in eternity is a part of the message … (God) enters into that love for those who have gone before us with us, (and) that gives us the privilege of praying for the dead and having those prayers help them in that final purification.”
The whole point of this All Souls Day, Bishop Malloy concluded, is to remember the “great love and mercy God has for us.”
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