November: Giving Thanks for All Saints, All Souls
The Feast of All Saints on November 1, is a Holy Day when we give thanks, and celebrate the lives of saints known and unknown to us – saints who have walked among us, leading us on paths of goodness. This day gives us the wonderful reminder that there have been others who have faced great challenges of their time and stayed true to their mission on earth. We can find much inspiration in the lives of the saints.
The month of November is also traditionally a time in which the Catholic community remembers those who have died and holds them in a special place of prayer. It is related to the fact that the end of November is the end of the Liturgical Year, with a new year starting the First Sunday of Advent – the four-week period of preparation before Christmas. The Church then uses this end of the year period as a time to think of the end of life and the end of all things and the great hope that our earthly end is transition into a new life in God’s heavenly reality.
We give thanks for those who have gone before us and we look with prayer and hope to their new life in heaven and our desire to join them there one day. At each Mass in both churches this month we are specially remembering people whose names you have given us and have been placed on the altars at St. Joseph and St. Pius. In addition, we invite you to write the names of your loved ones in our memorial books. These can be found in the foyer at St. Pius X and at the head of the aisle (Stevens Ave door) at St. Joseph. These books will be carried forward at all weekend Masses and placed on the altar.
And, perhaps at your Thanksgiving table you might include stories of remembrance of joyful times – and give thanks for God’s Grace that has carried you through.