Loretto Honors All Saints and All Souls
“I Am the Way,” Loretto’s Constitutions, tells us that the same Spirit who inspired and guided our founders gathers us in community today. We walk with all those “Friends of Mary” who for two centuries have followed them in a life of praise, prayer and service.
Gain souls, draw souls, court souls, shelter souls.prayer of Father Nerinckx, priest sponsor of the Sisters of Loretto
Loretto honors all saints and prays for all the departed throughout the year, but particularly during the month of November. The Solemnity of All Saints, on Nov. 1, is a day we join with the Church in remembering all the saints and martyrs who went before us and ask them to pray for us to one day join them in heaven. That celebration is followed by All Souls’ Day, Nov. 2, in which Catholics and many others pray for all departed souls.
In putting these two feasts one day after the other, the Church offers us a wonderfully consoling and balanced way of looking at death. On All Saints’ Day, we celebrate the glory of the saints in heaven. It is a day dedicated to all saints and martyrs, known and unknown. Think of your loved ones who have died and now are with God. This is a chance for you to be happy for — and with — them. We rejoice that, with God’s grace, they are perfectly happy with God and all those in heaven.
All Souls’ Day is a day set aside to honor and mourn our dead. Even though we rejoiced for our dearly departed the day before, on this feast day we acknowledge that we may still feel some sense of pain or loss because of their separation from us. Catholics believe that through the prayers of the faithful, the dead are cleansed of their sin and may enter into heaven.
The beauty of these two feast days together is that they are so honest and healing. All Souls’ Day has to do with the mystery of charity, that Divine Love overcomes everything, even death. Bonds of love uniting us creatures, living and dead, and the Lord, who is resurrected, are celebrated both on All Saints’ Day and on All Souls’ Day.
Let us pray together:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
And let perpetual light shine upon them.
During this November, we especially remember our deceased Loretto members and the gifts they shared. They are all saints in our eyes. Whether they taught school or worked in a soup kitchen, whether they worked as nurses or delivered food to families who are poor, whatever they did for the greater glory of God, “they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself.” (Wis 3:5)