Catholics Remember their Dear and Near Ones on ‘All Souls Day’- May Their Souls R.I.P !

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Catholics Remember their Dear and Near Ones on ‘All Souls Day’- May Their Souls R.I.P !

  •  Depart, O Christian Soul, out of this world; In the Name of God the Father Almighty who created you; In the Name of Jesus Christ who redeemed you; In the Name of the Holy Spirit who sanctified you. May your rest be in peace, and your dwelling place in the Paradise of God!

Mangalore : Just like when the Prime Minister or Chief Minister M visits the Mangaluru City, the streets get cleaned and the surroundings get a extreme makeover, similarly is the case when “A Souls Day” arrives, the management of Churches in the City along with a bunch of parishioners clean the cemetery few days before the 2 November deadline, making them look clean and green. I was really happy to see Bejai Church cemetery having an extreme makeover, looks 98% Cleaner and Better, than it looked a couple of years ago. I feel proud to be a Parishioner of Bejai Church.

Catholic families in Mangaluru parishes gathered at their respective Church cemeteries to pay tribute to loved ones who have died. Today, is “All Souls’ Day, when believers pray that souls in purgatory make it to heaven. Though its origins lie with the Catholic Church, other Christian denominations mark the holiday by reading the names of congregation members who have died over the past year. In the Mass that precedes the blessings, the pastoral staff will urge parishioners to pray not only for the good who have died but those who may not have lived a good life.

Death is such a difficult thing for us to deal with. It seems like it robs us of life. (The celebration) helps people who suffer from the grief of loss to be reminded that death is not the end. There is hope for us beyond the grave. The most distinctive feature of the “All Saints’ Day” Mass is the nature of the prayer. The prayers talk about through Christ we have victory over death and hope beyond the grave. Preceding ‘All Saints Day’ ( November 1), ‘All Souls Day’ observed on November 2 is a solemn feast in the Roman Catholic Church commemorating all of those who have died and now are in Purgatory, being cleansed of their venial sins and the temporal punishments for the mortal sins that they had confessed and atoning before entering fully into Heaven.

On All Souls Day, we not only remember the dead, but we apply our efforts, through prayer, alms giving, and the Mass, to their release from Purgatory. There are two plenary indulgences attached to All Souls Day, one for visiting a church and another for visiting a cemetery. (The plenary indulgence for visiting a cemetery can also be obtained every day from November 1-8, and, as a partial indulgence, on any day of the year.) While the actions are performed by the living, the merits of the indulgences are applicable only to the souls in Purgatory. Praying for the dead is a Christian obligation. The Church devotes the month of November to prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and participation in the Mass of ‘All Souls Day’ is a good way to begin the month.

Family members and close friends visited the cemeteries this past week, some to clean the tombs in preparation for the celebrations. Tombs at the Catholic church cemeteries were adorned with new silk flowers/fresh flowers, bouquets and candles. This morning family members were seen cleaning the tombs in Bejai cemetery, after which they adorned it with flowers and candles. Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Fr J B Saldanha, the Parish Priest of St Francis Xavier Church, Bejai in the City said, ” On 2nd November the faithful all over the world celebrate the memory of the departed and pray for their souls. This is known as the commemoration of all the faithful departed or All Soul’s Day. In Christian tradition, All Souls’ Day was popularized by French monks who designated a specific day for remembering the dead already back in 998 AD. On this day requiem masses are held in the churches with special prayers and music. People visit the graves of their loved ones and decorate the tombs and graves with flowers and candles. The local Church in Mangaluru and Udupi solemnly celebrated all Soul’s Day today, 2nd November”.

In St Francis Xavier Church, Bejai the day was celebrated in a befitting manner. Large gathering of Catholic faithful was seen offering prayers in the Church and visiting the graveyard to pay respect to the ancestors and departed near and dear ones. Rev. Fr J. B. Saldanha, Parish Priest, Bejai offered the mass and Fr Robert D’Souza, Fr Pramod Crasta and Fr Vishwas Joy Misquith-the clergy of the Church concelebrated and all of them offered special prayers in the cemetery, and after a short prayers went around the cemetery blessing the tombs with Holy Water.

Mrs Divya D’souza- Managing Partner of M D’souza Caterers who was at the Bejai cemetery paying respect to her beloved dad, speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “Years have gone by but somehow the loss we feel is still the same. The knowing smiles, the occasional reprimands and the warmth of a beautiful presence of the awesome men who have been in our family that can never be substituted. Men who have left a lasting impression starting with my Dad, Ignatius D’souza , who raised me to stand up for what I believed in. My father- in- law John D’souza ( proprietor of M D’souza Caterers/Bakery) who showed me the power of humility and my uncle Errol D’silva whose kindness surpassed everything”.

Also remembering her aunt Sybil D’silva who had passed away at the age of 57, Divya said, “I will not forget my aunt Sybil who left us a few years ago. Sometimes, it’s not just about missing someone, it’s wondering if they’re missing you too. Missing someone is your heart’s way of reminding you that you love them. If you can’t get someone off of your mind; It’s because your mind always knows what your heart is thinking. It’s hard to forget someone who gave you so much to remember. I miss our conversations; I miss how we used to talk every minute of everyday and how it was about everything that was on my mind. I miss her bubbly composure and her resounding laugh. She lit up the world around her with her presence. I miss my aunt Sybil a lot . All I can say to my dad, dad-in-law and aunt is, The only faith we have is that you are all enjoying eternal rest in the Lord and are now finally at peace and are sending us your blessings. We miss you all so much. Life is not the same without you. Rest in peace now and forever”

Six identical family graves. Eight burials. Grandfather/grand mother & Father/mother together in two graves. Uncles and Aunts in four graves. First burial of Grand father on 8th July 1917 and last burial 6th Sept 2018 of Mother Lena Fernandes aged 92 years’, of Ronald Fernandes, Bejai

“It is our family tradition to maintain the graves and regularly pray for their Souls, especially on All Souls Day. They are our role models and we sincerely believe that they are keeping a close watch over us and praying for us. My two sisters Henrietta and Patricia are here with me, along with my wife, Jacintha praying for our dear ones. My three brothers are out of town but they are present in Spirit. I loved my mother very much. I was her very favorite son, she always cared for me, loved me and gave me whatever I wanted. Losing her was the greatest tragedy in my life. My arms may not be able to reach her, but she is holding my heart. My mom was the most encouraging, inspiring, and positive person. Her words will live on in my heart. She lives on in my heart. I love her so much more than any limitations that our human vocabulary puts on emotions. I miss my Mom, I love her” said Ronald Fernandes emotionally of her mother Lena Fernandes, who passed away at the age of 92, on 6th September 2018.

A person said that there could be a mystery behind this dog, which is seen lying on this tomb every single day!

Susan belonging to Bejai Parish cleans the graves of her family members once every two months. She says “We honor the saints that are in heaven. We remember the dead and we pray for them. We also need to keep the tombs of our beloved ones clean too. I feel sad when I see the dilapidated conditions of some of tombs “. Susan said she remembers her sister every day, especially her “bubbly” personality. “Whenever you see her, she would laugh and always have something good to say. She wasn’t going to die, she was going to go on forever and ever,” Susan said.

Adolphous D’souza and his wife Pramilla D’souza paying respect to late Mrs Juanna D’souza, died at the age of 60 on 29-5-1890 (she is the great grandmother of Pramilla)- Hers is One of the oldest tomb at Bejai cemetery

Merlyn, wife of Agnel Rodrigues, (Coastal Times/TV) who passed away at the age of 55 on 26/6/2016 said, ” Even though four years have past, I still miss him a lot, for he was my soul mate, and he had left me his shadow behind- and sooner or later this shadow will follow him to join him again in Heaven. At the rising of the sun and at its going down, I will remember him. At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter, I will remember him. At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring, I will remember him. At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, I will remember my beloved husband”. Agnel had left behind his two sons, Sanjay and Sanjeeth.

Connie Saldanha and her Sister Lorine Pinto paying respect to their Parents & Sister

Mrs Connie Saldanha (along with her sister Lorine Pinto) who was at the Bejai cemetery to pay respect to their parents and sister said, “Our dad Richard Pinto died at the age of 93 ( 14-4-2013) , our mom Lily Pinto, died at the age of 86 ( 18-5-2015). But it was a severe blow and sadness to all of us losing our Sister Charlotte Pinto at the age of 58, to cancer. (22-11-2018). Pain and suffering have come into your life, but remember pain, sorrow, suffering are but the kiss of Jesus – a sign that you have come so close to Him that He can kiss you., had said Mother Teresa. I am sure that my parents are in the safe hands in Heaven, watching upon us and showering their blessings on us. Our parents were our first protectors, advocates, and friends. No matter what age we are now, we still remember our parents for their love and care towards us. And we miss our Sister Charlotte very dearly”.

Sonia Rodrigues paying respect to her beloved Dad, Late Fredrick Rodrigues

Sonia Rodrigues who had come to pay respect to her dad, Fredrick Rodrigues, died on 26-8-2018 said, ” When I close my eyes I see Him; When I open my eyes I miss Him. I keep myself busy with the things I do but every time I pause, I still think of my dad whom I miss a lot. Have you ever missed someone so much that even the thought of them made you burst into tears? I miss Him a lot, since two years after he left for heaven. A little too much, a little too often and a little more every day, my dear Dad”.

This morning, joined by my brother Joe, visited and paid respect to the tomb of my dad George D’souza (Born 18-6-1909, Died- 15-12-1992) and Mom-Magdalene D’Souza ( Born: 25-4-1918, Died: 1-7-1999), who both share the same tomb at Bejai Church. Since they both passed away while I was in the USA, I still feel sorry to say that due to my work schedule and short time leave provision, I was not able to attend their funeral. I know that they have forgiven me, and are looking at me from Heaven, showering their love and blessings on me. For their love, care and dedication towards me, I dedicate the following thought-provoking poem to my parents. I miss them very much. If I had a chance to relive my years with them again, I would have thought of their needs more and made time to visit them more often than I did –

“A day does not go by without thinking of you.
I think of the past and I feel happy and sad.
You both worked hard to take care of us.
My two brothers (Joe and Rudy) and I had fun growing up.

Before I knew it you were both very old.
I wished I had spent more time with you.
You gave all your time, love and care to us.
But I was too busy to even visit you two.

Now that both of you are dead and buried,
I visit your grave and think of the past.
What I would not give to see you again.
I wish I could go back to the past.

I would spend everyday with you two.
I would give you my time and my care.
To make sure that you were happy and well.
Just like you did with my brothers and me”.

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