All Soul’s Day

Today is a very beautiful day in our church calendar, the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, commonly known as All Soul’s Day.

The custom of praying for the dead began in the earliest days of Christianity, and over the course of time the day after All Saints Day became the day for the universal church to commemorate those who had gone before us, “marked with the sign of faith.”   Why exactly do we pray for the dead? The answer is simple. As Catholics, we believe that, after we die, there can be a period of purification, of cleansing, as our souls prepare to enter Heaven. By offering our prayers in this life, we can help those souls in purgatory who are currently undergoing this purification achieve their eternal reward.
I had the privilege of offering Mass this afternoon in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York, a magnificent and peaceful oasis a few miles outside of New York City in Westchester. During the Mass, I prayed not only for those buried at Gate of Heaven, but for all souls in purgatory, that they might soon be numbered among saints in heaven. It is my sincere hope that one day – but please, not too soon! – when I have taken my place in the crypt beneath the high altar of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, people will pray for me to speed me on my way to eternal happiness in the presence of God.

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14 Responses to “All Soul’s Day”

  1. Michael says:

    It saddens me greatly that the Archbishop did think it important that Fr Hinds was murdered. Where was he? Is NJ part of his Archdiocese or not???

  2. Cathy says:

    Your excellency, Please please announce more for people to stop giving their hand during the sign of peace. I have seen people at Masses trying to force their hand at you and someone got mad at me for refusing. I see people coughing, sneezing etc. the quickest way to spread germs is with a handshake. Its not fair, years ago we did not offer the sign of peace, why can’t the church just do away with it. A nod of the head is fine. I can’t understand. I think the church should do something quickly.More and more people attend mass while they are sick.

  3. Lee says:

    Not too soon for me too. I’m trying to cooperate with what I believe is God’s design for me – healthy metabolism to keep the body working right. God’s long term care plan. Thank you for this blog!

  4. Adrien Ivan says:

    Michael, The Archdiocese of New York City does not include New Jersey. The Archdiocese of Newark is the metropolitan for northern New Jersey, which includes Fr. Hinds’s parish.

  5. John says:

    I have no problem shaking the hand or even giving a simple hug to my brothers and sisters in Christ. We are united through Baptism and by the blood of the Lamb of God. Let us love one another as He has loves us.

  6. Seth DeMoor says:

    Great to see Catholic dialogue online. I am starting a new blog on the faith that you may enjoy from out here in Colorado.

  7. Tim says:

    Greetings your excellency, the Religion class at Holy Spirit Prep School in Atlanta congradulates you on your new blog!!! We are all praying for you

  8. Fr Paolo Tonghini says:

    Geetings your excellency, my brother in Jesus Christ and in the pristhood. I’m a catholic father, priest Diocese of Cremona (Italia). Also I’m starting my blog “Taborlife.it” My congratulation for his courage and his wish for comunication the Gospel in the Digital Age. Is a beatifull enterprise. God bless you!

  9. Kerry Daly says:

    Congrats on your blog- a tremendous way to communicate. All the very best,

  10. Fr Paolo Tonghini says:

    Geetings your excellency, my brother in Jesus Christ and in the pristhood. I’m a catholic father, priest Diocese of Cremona (Italia). My congratulation for his courage and his wish for comunication the Gospel in the Digital Age. Is a beatifull enterprise. God bless you!

  11. tim says:

    Thanks for taking time away from the Big Game to visit St. Pats Youth Mass last night! It was great to see you and I enjoyed your good humor during the mass!

  12. Richard says:

    We were privileged to attend and participate in the liturgy at Gate of Heaven Cem. The archbshop is a good celebrant and above all sings well. This, together with the excellent leader of song, encouraged congregational particpation all the more. The acoustics in the mausolum enhanced the singing as well. Congratulations to the vocal celebrant.

  13. SH says:

    Health reform will not cover very much long term care, at least nothing close to what long term care insurance covers.

  14. N. Casella says:

    I wonder if health care reform will get a vote on Christmas Eve like Harry Reid days. I am tired of these guys.