From the Pastor's Desk
Fr. Dan White, S.J.
November 2, 2014
The human desire to remember the dead is rooted in all cultures. It takes various forms and encompasses differing beliefs, but the ritualized marking of life’s end is common among peoples.
The early Christians were surrounded by the practices and customs of the Greco-Roman world. Our ancestors in faith did not abandon certain practices but rather infused them with their understanding of the death and resurrection of the Lord. Lamentation and mourning was transformed into the hope of eternal life Christ shares with all believers. In fact, the various communal celebrations of saints and the faithful departed pre-date even the feast of Christmas.
The Feasts of All Saints and All Souls are a reflection of this very ancient practice. They are not linked together on the liturgical calendar by chance. One could argue it is actually a single feast spread over two days that recognizes the holiness of those who have died, both the extraordinary and the ordinary. It is a reminder that each of us, no matter the time or place, seek to proclaim the Gospel. Joined by such a great cloud of witnesses, we ask the Lord to give us the grace to make us holy.