We Who Grieve

Oct 28, 2022

November is the month of the Holy Souls writes Columban missionary Fr Michael O’Loughlin.  

Every year in the month of June a Memorial Mass is celebrated in Dalgan Park on Cemetery Sunday for deceased members of the Columban Fathers. Families of those who have died are invited to take part.

Unfortunately, due to Covid, the event was down-scaled over the past two years. But a Mass was still celebrated in the cemetery while Covid restrictions were observed.

Cemetery Sunday is a very special moment for family members and the Columbans to come together and share their memories and prayers for their deceased brother priests. It is also an expression of gratitude to these families for their continued support of their deceased members while they were on mission.

The month of November is the month of the Holy Souls, and it is universally marked throughout the world. Visiting graves is the norm.

In the Asian culture, and in some religious denominations, special occasions are devoted to the remembrance of the dead. People often travel long distances to be present at the tombs or graves of their ancestors. This most solemn occasion is sometimes marked by placing wine and food at the graves.

This year is particularly important as deaths have been caused by the pandemic, war, violence and hunger linked to climate change, which is desecrating planet earth. When death threatens life it is meaningless without God’s presence.

A Buddhist poet once wrote: ‘As winter brings death to nature’s span, so does spring awaken life again’.

Columban missionary Fr Michael O’Loughlin.

Tis Only We Who Grieve
‘Tis only we who grieve
They do not leave
They are not gone
They look upon us still
They walk among the valleys now
They stride upon the hill
Their smile is in the summer sky
Their grace is in the breeze
Their memories whisper in the grass
Their calm is in the trees
Their light is in the winter snow
Their tears are in the rain
Their merriment runs in the brook
Their laughter in the lane
Their gentleness is in the flowers
‘Tis only we who grieve.

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