Greetings to all of you from Valdocco, where I am with 11 other provincials for a meeting with the Rector Major and the Vicar of the Rector Major.
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of our lives, including the opportunity to offer traditional funeral services for our confreres. Because of the restrictions at the time, we were only able to have brief graveside services with a very limited number of people present for a few confreres. With the restrictions lessening, we can once again gather in prayer and fellowship to remember our deceased brothers. Constitution 54 states, “The memory of departed confreres unites, ‘in a love that will not pass away,’ those who are still pilgrims with those who are already resting in Christ.”
As we approach the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day) on Tuesday, November 2, we can pray for the repose of the souls of the confreres who have died since the beginning of the pandemic both privately and as a community.
Together, we remember:
- Fr. Robert Bauer (+March 23, 2020)
- Bp. Emilio Allué (+April 26, 2020)
- Fr. Joseph Santa Bibiana (+May 15, 2020)
- Fr. Kenneth Germaine (+June 19, 2020)
- Fr. Romeo Trottier (+September 13, 2020)
- Fr. John Masiello (+October 24, 2020)
- Fr. Joseph Doran (+March 2, 2021)
- Fr. John Grinsell (+March 12, 2021)
- Fr. Jeremiah Reen (+July 10, 2021)
- Fr. Robert Gagné (+September 17, 2021)
- Fr. Anthony D’Angelo (+September 22, 2021)
Regulation 76 gives specific ways for us to express our love and gratitude to confreres, relatives, and benefactors who have died:
- One Mass is said in every house of the province for a decease confrere (30 Masses in the community to which the confrere belonged). Please be sure this has been done.
- Every Salesian priest will celebrate Mass on Tuesday, February 1 for our deceased confreres.
- At every Salesian retreat, a Mass will be celebrated for our deceased confreres.
On All Souls Day, parishes sometimes remember those who have died during the year by name. Let us not forget our confreres during these commemorations. If possible, I encourage communities to visit the places where SDBs are buried during November.
We can also check our calendars to guarantee that a Mass will be celebrated in each community:
- On Friday, November 5, for deceased benefactors and members of the Salesian Family; and
- On Thursday, November 25, for the deceased parents of SDBs.
Let us pray. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May our deceased confreres rest in peace. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Fr. Tim Zak