Each year the Church begins the Month of November with a thunderous acclamation of the Church Triumphant in Heaven: “All Saints’ Day”. In the words of a Missal note: 

During the year the Church celebrates one by one the feasts of the saints. Today she joins them all in one festival. In addition to those whose names she knows, she recalls in a magnificent vision all the others “of all nations and tribes standing before the throne and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands,” proclaiming Him who redeemed them in His Blood. (St. Andrew Missal, 1958 edition) 

The Church’s Liturgy for this day of All Saints is one of unmitigated joy. Dom Prosper Guéranger, O.S.B., describes it as the Church “so overflowing with joy, that she seems to be already in possession of eternal happiness.” (The Liturgical Year

The thought of the crown of eternal life won by our loved ones who have died ought to help us manage the inevitable grief caused to us by their loss. “Year by year, as the great solemnity comes round, it has gathered from among our former companions new saints, who bless our tears and smile upon our songs of hope.” (Guéranger) The thought of the great assembly of the Blessed ought also to keep us mindful of our own last end. “Year by year the appointed time draws nearer, when we ourselves, seated at the heavenly banquet, shall receive the homage of those who succeed us, and hold out a helping hand to draw them after us to the home of everlasting happiness.(idem) 

The Feast of All Saints, November 1st, is followed directly by the Commemoration of All Souls, November 2nd. These holy souls are saints too. What distinguishes them from the saints of the Church Triumphant in Heaven is that—from the point of view of our solar time— they are still undergoing that mysterious soulpurification after death which is called “Purgatory”. Hence the distinction we make between the “Church Triumphant” in Heaven and the “Church Suffering” in Purgatory. The Church on earth is the “Church Militant.” 

It is part of our duty in both justice and charity to make prayer and sacrifice for all of the faithful departed, especially for our own family and friends. This is a duty we should be carrying out all the time, but especially during these days of November which is the Month of Remembrance for the Dead. As in past years, All Souls envelopes are available to you at the entrance tables to the church if you wish to list their names and make a memorial gift. These envelopes, as they are received, will be placed on the altar for all of our parish Masses from November 2nd thru November 30th: “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine down upon them.

Fr. Higgins

About Our Parish

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes is Newton and Needham Massachusetts's oldest Roman Catholic Parish. Founded as Saint Mary's Parish in 1870 it was renamed "Mary Immaculate of Lourdes" when the new Church was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1910. In addition to being a regular territorial parish of the Archdiocese of Boston it is also a "Mission Parish" since 2007 with a special apostolate for the Traditional Latin Mass (1962 Missal).

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"If you are willing to serenely bear the trial of being displeasing to yourself, then you will be for Jesus a pleasant place of shelter."
- St. Therese of Lisieux (+1897)

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