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Remembering the dead a sign of faith*

By Renee Smith,

Today (November 2), Catholics all over the world celebrate the feast of All Souls to remember those who have passed on but going to the place where loved ones are buried is not something Catholics invented, says Msgr Christian Pereira.

The “Easter story” of today’s Gospel (Mk 15:33–39, 16:1–6) Msgr Pereira said, is a reminder that the tradition of visiting the dead is an ancient one.

The parish community of La Romaine celebrated their All Souls Mass in the Garden of Peace, a columbarium (facility where ashes of the dead are kept) behind the St Benedict’s RC Church.

During his homily Msgr Pereira explained the “final goodbye” of visiting graves embodies an act of kindness, charity and love. “When we do this it nourishes, strengthens and deepens our faith,” he said.

Praying for the dead is a “reminder of our own journey where we are one day are hoping to be united with them” remarked Msgr Pereira, adding that through prayer “faith is renewed”.

“When we do this we will come to know the God we believe in is alive. He is The One who brings salvation and healing as we come to terms with our physical separation of our deceased loved ones”.

In the Catholic faith the entire month of November is dedicated to praying for the dead.