On the sunny afternoon of Nov. 2, a half-dozen Catholic high school students left campus early — but not to cut classes.
As Christians await their death and the final judgment of God, the Gospel tells them what they must do to be welcomed into heaven: love others because God is love, Pope Francis said.
Parishioners filled the Basilica of Regina Pacis for the commemoration of the Faithful Departed — All Souls Day — Mass to pray for those who have gone on to their eternal rewards.
The tombstones of soldiers killed in war cry out to people today to end all wars and to stop the production of weapons, Pope Francis said. “I am sure that all of those who went with goodwill (to war), called by their country to defend it, are with the Lord,” he said, celebrating Mass on the feast of All Souls, Nov. 2, at the French Military Cemetery in Rome.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still underway and with restrictions on gatherings still in place in some countries, the Vatican has again extended the period of time when people can earn a plenary indulgence for visiting a cemetery and praying for the souls of the faithful in purgatory.
The lives of people lost to the “long, dark months of the coronavirus pandemic” was on the mind of Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles during an observance on the eve of All Souls’ Day.
The feast of All Souls’ Day, when Catholics remember and pray for the dead, has weighted significance this year when so many have died of COVID-19 and the pandemic’s restrictions have prevented usual funeral services and final goodbyes in person.
The Missionaries of Charity sisters joined hundreds of the faithful gathered for field Masses held each year at the four Catholic cemeteries operated by the Diocese of Brooklyn on All Souls Day — a day when Catholics all over the world attend Mass and visit their deceased loved ones at the cemetery.
Vincenza Julian, a sophomore at The Mary Louis Academy, Jamaica Estates, has grown up hearing about her Uncle Vinny, a firefighter with the New York Fire Department who died at Ground Zero responding to the terror attack at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. An activity at her school during the week leading up to All Souls Day brought her even closer to her uncle.