Halloween is known as All Hallow’s Eve because it is the eve of all the hallowed (holy) ones. On that evening, we begin our celebration of the Communion of Saints, the community of all those who are united to Jesus in this life and the next.
On All Saints’ Day, November 1st, we celebrate all those in heaven. A saint is simply a citizen of heaven. All Saints’ Day reminds us that heaven is possible and that those who are already there are cheering us on and praying for us to be saints, too.
On All Souls’ Day, November 2nd, we pray for those who are in purgatory. The souls in purgatory undergo a process of purification in preparation for heaven. Even though this process is penitential, it is also a joyful, because the souls on this stage of their journey to heaven are guaranteed to reach their destination eventually. Our prayers and sacrifices for the souls in purgatory support their journey.
One way we offer prayer and sacrifice is the yearly writing of the names of our deceased loved ones on All Souls’ envelopes, making an offering, and coming to Masses during the month of November, especially on November 2nd. Come join us for our prayerful celebrations of the Communion of Saints on All Saints’ Day, November 1st (a holy day of obligation) and All Souls’ Day, November 2nd.
I hope you might also join me for another celebration. On November 19th at the 5:30 pm Mass, Cardinal Dolan will be installing me as pastor of Holy Name of Jesus – St. Gregory the Great Parish. We will have a reception afterwards in the Franciscan Community Center, and I hope that this might be an occasion to celebrate the gift of our faith and our parish family. Veronica Rosario and a group of other parishioners are organizing the reception. If you would like to join them in preparing and hosting the reception, please email or call the parish office.
Fr. George Sears