By Pamela Seal
Diocese of Lake Charles
LAKE CHARLES — Several hundred people gathered on a chilly night for the All Souls Day Mass of Remembrance at Consolata Cemetery on Thursday, November 2. Bishop Glen John Provost was the celebrant for the 6:00 p.m. liturgy as the sun was setting around the main mausoleum. The Mass is hosted annually by the Diocese of Lake Charles and Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church dedicates the entire month of November to praying in a special way for Holy Souls (also called the Faithful Departed) in Purgatory. The Holy Souls are referred to as the Church Suffering, while the Saints in Heaven are the Church Triumphant. The faithful on earth are the Church Militant.
Purgatory and prayers for the dead are an important part of the Month of Holy Souls. Since the Holy Souls in Purgatory cannot pray for themselves, they rely entirely on living souls to pray and make sacrifices on their behalf while awaiting purification of their souls.
In reference to the Gospel of John 15:3, “You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you,” Bishop Provost said in his homily that the word that prunes is the word that cuts, and what is left bears more fruit.
“Poor humans, we have difficulty letting go, but letting go we must,” the bishop said. “To us all death comes. And when it does, it finds us either waiting, a healthy branch, united to the vine, or separated from it, thrown into the kiln.”
“This belief should not depress us,” he continued, “but rather prompt us to pray for ourselves and for them who have gone before us.”
Bishop Provost told those in attendance that their visit to the cemetery is a reassurance, a reminder that God exists, and their departed loved ones live.
“God wishes us to be united with Him forever. May it be so for our faithful departed,” said the bishop.
He went on to say, “May those who rest here come to the judgment united to the Lord as a living branch, pruned and strengthened, to enjoy the Beatific Vision.”
Priests concelebrating the Mass with Bishop Provost were Rev. Monsignor Daniel A. Torres, Vicar General and Pastor of Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church; Very Rev. Rojo Koonathan, V.F., Pastor of Christ the King Catholic Church; Very Rev. Aubrey Guilbeau, Pastor of St. Theodore Catholic Church; Rev. Josh Page, Parochial Vicar of Our Lady Queen of Heaven; Very Rev. Ruben Villarreal, Judicial Vicar; Rev. Nathan Long, Pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church; Rev. Charles Okorougo. Also assisting were Deacon Harold Nixon of Our Lady Queen of Heaven and Deacon Brian Soileau, Director of Saint Charles Center and Camp Karol. Rev. Samuel Bond served as Master of Ceremonies.
Serving as Honor Guard for the Mass was Monsignor Hubert Cramers Assembly 320 Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus. Members of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, OLQH Court 1785 were also in attendance.
Following the Mass, the priests walked around blessing graves for family and friends.
Eternal Life grant unto them, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon them. May they Rest In Peace. Amen.
CLICK HERE TO READ BISHOP PROVOST’S FULL HOMILY.