Archive for the ‘Doctrine of Purgatory’ Category

Schedule for All Souls’ Day: Monday, November 2nd

Thursday, October 29th, 2015


Monday, November 2nd:

The Solemn Commemoration of

All the Faithful Departed

Since this Monday is All Souls’ Day, Fr. Lawrence will offer three Holy Masses: the first two will begin at 6:15 a.m. (Extraordinary Form) and one will follow the other (for those who would like to assist at these Masses).  At 8:15 a.m., we will have the parish Mass (3rd Mass; Ordinary Form) and following this Mass, as has been the tradition at St. Mary’s) the school children will go by bus to St. Mary’s Cemetery where Fr. Lawrence will lead them in prayers for the Faithful Departed.  Once we return to the school, we will have doughnuts, juice and coffee, etc.  The adults who come to the morning Mass are welcome to join us at the cemetery and then for refreshments in the school afterwards.  Fr. Lawrence is switching his day off from Monday to Tuesday this week.



Plenary Indulgences for the Holy Souls Nov. 1st through 8th

Thursday, October 29th, 2015


November 2nd: Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

On All Souls Day, Friday, November 2nd, following the morning Mass, the children and faculty of St. Mary School, along with about a dozen parishioners, made the formal “Visit to the Parish Cemetery for All Souls Day”.  Father Lawrence led the prayers for the Holy Souls as well as those prescribed for the intentions of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.  After a generous sprinkling with Holy Water, a special treat called “Soul Cakes” were blessed and distributed to the children to enjoy on their return journey to school.

N.B. “Soul Cakes” come to us from Mexico, and are only a small culinary sampling of the rich Latin American Catholic cultural celebration called  “Dia de los Muertos” or “Day of the Dead” (All Souls Day).  We thank Mrs. Barbara Stangeland for making the Soul Cakes.


All Souls Day 2011

Friday, November 25th, 2011

All Souls’ Day

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Some photos of the High Altar following the Third Mass of the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls) in the Extraordinary Form:

September 10th: Feast of St. Nicholas of Tolentine, Augustinian Priest & Confessor; Patron of the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Friday, September 10th, 2010

From the Priest of Salem:

Since September 10th in the liturgical calendar of the Ordinary Form was “of the Feria” (or “4th Class”), I maintained my custom of celebrating the feast of St. Nicholas of Tolentine using one of the Common Masses.  While not being raised around a single Augustinian, I can thank my maternal grandmother for introducing me to the “other” St. Nicholas, who had the great privilege of being the “Heavenly Patron of the Holy Souls in Purgatory” —  

Here is a short life of St. Nicholas of Tolentine from our parish bulletin of September 5th:

While in no way meant to over shadow the importance of the Feast of the Nativity of Our Blessed Mother, which we celebrate on Wednesday of this week (September 8th), on Friday, September 10th, we celebrate the birth into eternal life of an important, but not as well-known citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem: Saint Nicholas of Tolentine (1245-1305).  St. Nicholas was a simple priest and Augustinian Friar who touched the lives of many.  His sprit of prayer, penance, austerity of life and devotion to the Holy Souls were notable. His preaching brought many to Christ.

Nicholas Gurutti was born in 1245 in Sant’Angelo, Pontano, Macerata, Italy. His family was rather poor.  He joined the Augustinian Order while a young man, after hearing the inspired preaching of Reginaldo da Monterubbiano, Prior (local superior) of the Augustinian monastery in Sant’Angelo.

As a priest and religious, he was full of charity towards his brother Augustinians as well as towards the people to whom he ministered. He visited the sick and cared for the needy. He was a noted preacher of the Gospel. He gave special attention to those who had fallen away from the Church.  People considered him a miracle worker.  He often fasted and performed other works of penance.  He spent long hours in prayer before the Most Blessed Sacrament, especially in preparation for offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The story is told that, one day, having fasted for a long time, Nicholas was physically weak. While at prayer, Jesus told him to eat some bread marked with a cross and soaked in water in order to regain his strength. Thus arose the Augustinian custom of blessing and distributing Saint Nicholas Bread in his memory.  Another story relates that Nicholas, while asleep in bed, heard the voice of a deceased Friar he had known. This Friar told Nicholas that he was in Purgatory, and urged him to celebrate the Eucharist for him and other souls there, so that they would be set free by the power of Christ. Nicholas did so for seven days. The Friar again spoke to Nicholas, thanking him and assuring him that a large number of souls were now with God. Because of this Nicholas was proclaimed patron of the souls in Purgatory.  He is also considered the patron saint against epidemic disease and against fires.

During most of his adult life, Nicholas lived in Tolentine, Italy, where he died on September 10, 1305. St. Nicholas was canonized in 1446 by Pope Eugene IV.  Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, Priest & Confessor, pray for us.


O good Jesus, mystically present upon our altars, renewing the oblation of Calvary for the sake of our salvation, we kneel in silence before Thee, as Mary Magdala and John and Thy Blessed Mother knelt in the silence of that awful moment when the Angel of Death spread his wings around the cross. We come to plead with Thee while our thoughts follow Thee down from Calvary to the prisons where the Holy Souls waited through the years of Thy coming.  We plead, dear Jesus, for the release of the poor souls in purgatory.  We plead through the memory of that moment when Thy agonizing Heart ceased to beat on the cross.  We plead through the merits of the angels that serve Thee, through the merits of the Saints who surround Thee, through the merits of St Nicholas of Tolentine, the efficacy of whose great charity towards the poor souls is our encouragement to approach Thy Divine Bounty.  In Thy compassion and mercy for those whom Thou hast redeemed, deign, once again, through the intercession of St. Nicholas, to open the gates of purgatory that the heavens may see the passing of multitudes to eternal happiness. 

Glory be to the Father, etc…..   Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, etc…..

Let us pray:  Grant, we beseech Thee, O Almighty God that Thy Church, which is made illustrious with the glory of the prodigies and miracles of St Nicholas, Thy Blessed Confessor, may, by his merits and intercession enjoy perpetual unity and peace.  Throgh Christ our Lord.  Amen.

“I thought black vestments went out with the lights?”

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Procession to the GraveFor a good explanation of the continued use of black vestments during the Ordinary Form of the Mass (or the new Mass), go over to the Catholic Key Blog: There you will find a very good interview with Deacon Ralph Wehner, Director of the Office of Worship, Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO. 

A simple explanation of the doctrine of INDULGENCES by Cardinal Sean O’Malley

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

From Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s weblog:

I want to mention something about indulgences, which are often misunderstood.  Indulgences are not forgiveness for sin but forgiveness for temporal punishment due to sin.

I like to explain it to people with the following story:

As a child, once I came home very late for dinner. My mother was very upset, and seeing how upset she was, I felt very repentant and I told her that it would never happen again. She told me she forgave me, but as my punishment I would have to do the dishes.

So there was repentance and forgiveness, but there was still punishment.

But, as I started doing the dishes, my nana came in and said, “I will help you.”

That is an indulgence.

God loves us and he forgives us, but in His justice there is still some punishment for sin. The indulgence is when the merits and the sufferings of Jesus and the saints are applied to that punishment.

Bishop Finn of Kansas City, MO on Prayer for the Dead

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Reverend_Robert_W__FinnNovember begins with two great liturgical observances: the Solemnity of All Saints on Nov. 1, and the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed – also called “All Souls”- on Nov. 2. The celebration of Holy Mass is particularly meaningful on these days which remind us of the Communion of Saints to which we belong with those who have gone before us in faith.

Having grown up in a parish named “All Souls,” this day has always had a special meaning for me. Not only were we off school on All Souls day because it was our “feast day,” but we were encouraged to come to church and make a visit before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and offer prayers for the souls in purgatory.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Church clearly affirms her belief that “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven” (CCC, no. 1030). The Church gives the name, “Purgatory,” to this work of purgation or purification, and urges us to pray for the dead, and to do good works (almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance) for their eternal well-being (CCC, nos. 1031-1032).

A special “Plenary Indulgence,” is granted by the Church, applicable to the souls in purgatory, when the Christian faithful devoutly visit a church or an oratory on All Souls Day, and offer some prayers for the faithful departed, minimally the Our Father and the Creed. The traditional prayers I was taught at an early age were the recitation of six Our Fathers, Hail Mary’s and Glory Be’s. I still make an All Souls Day visit each year for these intentions.

The plenary indulgence provides the remission of all temporal punishment due to sin, and assists to ready the person to enter into heaven. The “conditions” that must be met are: That the person making this prayerful visit to gain the indulgence for the poor souls should go to sacramental confession within several days preceding or following their visit and prayers; that they should receive Holy Communion worthily, and offer some prayer for the Pope’s intentions.

Having recently re-read the Pope’s Apostolic Constitution on the doctrine of indulgences, I have noted that the Ordinary (the Bishop) of the Diocese may extend the opportunity for the All Souls Day indulgence such that it can be gained either on All Souls Day or on the preceding or following Sunday, or on the Solemnity of All Saints. I gladly extend this privilege to the faithful within the churches and oratories of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph to this Sunday, so that more may take advantage of this grace of interceding on behalf of our brothers and sisters who have died in Christ.

Though it may seem “quaint” or even archaic to some, the notion of the indulgence is a meaningful expression of the doctrine of Grace and merit, and bears testimony to the power of our prayers for one another, even beyond this life. It also expresses the pastoral solicitude of the Vicar of Christ to “bind and loose” (cf. Matthew 16:19) as an expression of God’s mercy.

The greatest and most powerful prayer we can offer for the eternal salvation of those who have died is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Here the saving gift of Jesus Christ, dying and rising, is made present and its fruits or benefits are applied on behalf of the faithful.

The plenary indulgence proper to All Souls Day is a very special moment in the Church’s liturgical calendar for us to remember those who have gone before us. Let us remember throughout this month that “to pray for the dead is a holy and wholesome thought, that they may be loosed from their sins” (2 Mac 12: 46). Remember them every day before the Lord.