For example, we can remember in a special way Archbishop Oscar Romero who was elevated to sainthood earlier this year. He was martyred as he fought against social injustice in El Salvador. We also recall Sir Thomas More and Bishop John Fisher who were martyred in England for defending the teachings of the Catholic faith. Other saints such as Vincent DePaul and Francis of Assisi witnessed to the faith in solidarity with the poor, the sick, and the outcast. In many respects, all of these saints were ordinary people guided by the Lord to do extraordinary things. They can teach us so much about living, loving, and serving.
After celebrating All Saints Day, we commemorate All Souls Day this Friday. It is a day to honor and pray for our deceased relatives, friends, neighbors, parishioners, co-workers, and all who shared their lives with us. On that same evening at 7:00 p.m., we will celebrate a Mass of Remembrance as we honor the memory of those loved ones who have died, including those who have died recently. We can especially remember those loved ones whose time on earth was brief.
We can remember, for example, those who died in war to protect our freedoms, those who died in auto accidents, those who died in fires, and all those who died prematurely for some reason. A litany of names and an offering of roses with appropriate lighting of candles will mark this special occasion.
As Catholics, we strive to honor our dead and to bring spiritual peace and consolation to families who grieve for their loved ones. Grieving is part of our human condition and can help us on the path to healing. I want to thank all those who give of their time to participate in our bereavement and grief caring ministries, and who do so much to assist families in their time of mourning and sorrow. They truly are a blessing to our faith community.
As we reflect on our saints and deceased loved ones, we invite you to join us for our liturgies on All Saints Day and on All Souls Day as we honor them in a special way.