News, Pastor's Note

Ponderings & Pontifications of the Pastor

Greetings everyone! Well, as the month of October draws to a close, there are many things we might consider and act upon (other than buying more Halloween candy because, let’s face it…you or your loved ones ate all of it first!). October is a month specifically dedicated to Our Blessed Mother, under her title of Our Lady of the Rosary. It is a very good thing to keep that in mind as we move to a special period at the beginning of November…All Saint’s Day and the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed. On November 1st, we honor the holy men and women (and even children) who are known to be in Heaven with all certainty…the saints! The next day, we commemorate our departed loved ones (All Soul’s Day) and recognize that if they are not in Heaven, we ought to pray that they will enter speedily and without delay. Unfortunately, we can never know for sure, and should never presume, that our deceased loved ones are with God. Again, they may be undergoing their purgation (“purifying”) in Purgatory, or perhaps they rejected God so completely, that they could even possibly be damned (a truly dreadful thing to contemplate). Here is an excerpt from an article by Katrina Fernandez, published at, on October 31st, 2018. This might help explain the powerful connection between honoring the saints and their deeds, as well as asking them to pray for us, but especially for departed Christian souls. “… I’d like to point out that we don’t pray to the saints but we ask them for their intercession. It would be the same thing as asking your friend to pray for you. The saints are considered powerful intercessors because they are members of the Church Triumphant and can carry our petitions to the Lord. They’re also not meant to take the place of regular prayer and adoration to Christ. These distinctions are important when understanding what the Church teaches and what we believe. All Saints Day was the day designated by the Church to celebrate all the saints (known and unknown) in heaven and to recognize their contribution to the Church; as role model, intercessor, and inspiration of tremendous hope. All Souls Day is the Church’s commemoration of the souls in the purifying suffering of purgatory. So, one day honors the saints who have entered into the glory of the heaven and the other day is offered as a day of prayer for those souls in purgatory longing to join them. Now, what does this honor of the deceased look like? Culturally, there are numerous ways the dead are honored, just as there are many different funeral customs around the globe. How the dead are remembered and celebrated outside the Church usually depends on your personal heritage. Within the Church, the ways in which we can honor the souls in purgatory and remember the dead have been established and are universally practiced. A major example would be the very feasts days coming up on November 1st and 2nd. Throughout the year the Saints are celebrated and remembered on the designated feasts days. The most charitable thing the Church can do is to pray unceasingly for the dead through novenas, spiritual enrollment, and most importantly, offering Mass. As long as the dead are remembered and their memory respected with Masses and prayers, we do them honor.”

~ Fr. Martin Gallagher