The month of November is always dedicated to all souls. This month, we certainly remember the souls of those who have gone before us. We have lost Paul Gallagher, William Wehner, Karl Fry, Johanna Kramer, Aubree Duechle-Fibbe, William Goedde, Theresa Woltering, and Marlene Riehle this past year in the parish. We must certainly do well to remember them each in our prayers and all of our faithfully departed parishioners. We also remember all those loved ones we have lost among our family and friends. May we do well to remember all those poor souls with no one else to pray for them. The greatest act of charity we can do for the faithful departed is to pray for them, sacrifice for them, and offer Masses. The Church Suffering, that is those poor souls in purgatory, only have us to pray for them. While we should not strive for purgatory, we should strive for heaven; we may one day end up there and depend upon the prayers of the Church Militant, that is, the Church on earth. So may we pray well for them and recognize that one day we may also rely on the Church Militant.
During November, from November 1 until November 8, a plenary indulgence can be gained for the poor souls in purgatory. To do so, we can do these two things: first, visit a cemetery. An indulgence, applicable only to the souls in purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally, for the departed. Second, we can visit a church on November 2: A plenary indulgence, applicable only to the souls in purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who on the day dedicated to the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed [November 2] piously visit a church. In visiting the church it is required that one Our Father and the Creed be recited. We would do well not to pass up the opportunities that the Church offers us.
Please remember that All Saints’ Day is a Holy Day of Obligation. We will also have Masses on All Souls’ Day. So, certainly get to Mass on All Saints’ Day, but try to also get to Mass on All Souls’ Day. Praying for the faithful departed, as I said, is the greatest act of charity that we can do for them. For all the love they offered to us in life, this is our opportunity to return that love and kindness offered to us.
Be assured of my prayers during this month, and please pray for each of the Oratorians!