All Saints and All Souls


It is comforting to be observing these two days in the Catholic Church. Growing up, this time of the year was replete with demons, witches, goblins and horror tales. For most of the American culture, the focus is still on Halloween, long divorced from any sense of the All Hallows’ Eve source.

Today we had a litany of the saints, as the cantor read out the name of each parishioner or family or friend of any parishioners who had died in the previous year, as we responded in song after every twenty names. It is a meditative opportunity to reflect on those many lives who have touched our own. Two names were especially poignant for me, Father Andrew of whom I have written, and Steve Starski. Steve died after a long bout with colon cancer, but not before he was able to be certain that each of his adult daughters knew, without a doubt, that he loved her.

Our world is full of people like Steve, working quietly(in his case for the phone company), staying faithful to his wife, and loving his children and grandchildren. These days allow us to give thanks for “ordinary” people quietly walking out the Gospel.

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