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Note From Our Pastor (Parish Bulletin for October 26, 2014)
Sunday, November 2 is All Souls Day. In addition to your regular Sunday envelope, please take an All Souls Day envelope from the table in the back. Write on it the names of your deceased loved ones and enclose whatever offering you wish. If you wish, you can also write "The Souls in Purgatory" on your envelope after the names of your beloved deceased relatives and friends. They need our prayers, so let us never forget them. The names will be on our altar for he entire month of November and remembered at every Mass.
Have you lost a loved one who passed away, or know someone who has? Prayers for souls in purgatory can help them! While we can derive great comfort from the hope that our loved ones are enjoying Eternal Life with God, it never hurts to pray for their souls in any case.
In purgatory, the souls of many of those who have died in God’s grace undergo purification so that they may enter heaven.
Many of the Fathers of the Church, such as St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom, considered prayers for souls in purgatory to be essential. The church has endorsed the doctrine of purgatory from the Councils of Florence and Trent in the 15th and 16th centuries right up through Vatican II.
The most famous scriptural reference, among others, concerning these prayers comes from the Old Testament where it is called “a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins” (2 Macabees12:46).
November is traditionally an especially important month to pray for those in purgatory, and many visit the graves of the departed on All Souls' Day, November 2nd, as shown in this painting on the right.
While the sacrament of penance (confession) is essential for the forgiveness of sins, purgatory may still be necessary for many of us to satisfy the temporal punishment still due for venial and forgiven mortal sins.
Our prayers for the souls in purgatory can help alleviate their sufferings and help them reach heaven more quickly. Although they can no longer pray for themselves, they can and do pray for us as well out of gratitude!
Blessings in Christ,