Letter from the Pastor
Dearest Friends in Christ,
St. Bernard of Clairvaux once wrote, “The saints have no need of honor from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs. Clearly, if we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them. But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by tremendous yearning.”
This coming Sunday will be All Saints Day, that day every November 1st on which the Church celebrates the history of those many Saints, that cloud of Witnesses, who by all “their choicest deeds, their holiest lives, their noblest labors, their most precious sufferings…have been gathered each in his or her own time into the paradise of God.” (St. John Henry Newman). Hundreds of years before Pope Gregory IV (827-844) transferred the Feast of All Saints from May to November 1st, the Church observed and celebrated this feast with great jubilation. For it is on this celebrated day, that “the blessed company…meets the Christian pilgrim in the services of the Church…This great multitude, which no man could number, is gathered into this one day’s commemoration, the goodly fellowship of the Prophets, the noble army of Martyrs, the Children of the Holy Church Universal, who have rested from their labors.” (St. John Henry Newman).
In several households and parishes around the world, the celebration of this feast entails children bursting with excitement because they get to dress up as different Saints. By honoring the Saints and seeking to imitate them, we honor God with our whole heart and soul. Let us pay our Saints due honor, decorating our houses and dressing up to celebrate their presence among us. Life is too short to ignore our most loyal friends. And so on this November 1st and all the days of our lives let us “follow the saints, because those who follow them will become saints.” (St. Clement I)
Pax et bonum,
Fr. Justin R. Ferguson