Those we love don’t go away,
they walk beside us every day:
unseen, unheard but always near,
still loved, still missed and very dear.
Several years ago I visited an elderly couple whom I had known since I was a child. They had no family themselves and were, at that stage, advanced in years and in declining health. They spoke to me of their worries. Surprisingly what worried them most was not their failing health or who would look after them or even the prospect of dying. Their greatest worry, their deepest anxiety was whether anyone would remember them in the future, whether anyone would sometimes stand by their graveside and offer a silent prayer, whether anyone would remember them and their own loved ones who had gone before them. They taught me that remembering matters, that remembrance really is important! If we are honest, all of us want to be remembered. To be remembered is to know that your life has mattered, that you have touched the life and the heart of another, that you have been truly loved. Those who love remember. Those who truly appreciate what others bring to their lives remember. Memory is an expression both of lasting gratitude and abiding love, a witness to the power of human connection that is stronger even then death. Our November Remembrance offers us a moment to honour the memory of those we have loved and lost, to give thanks for the incredible blessing they have been in our lives and to entrust them to the loving care of our God.
Our Parish Novena for the Faithful Departed will be celebrated from Wednesday 2nd November to Thursday 10th November with Masses each morning and evening. Cemetery Prayers will be offered in each of our cemeteries on the afternoon of Sunday 6th November. Our Annual Mass for those who have died in Passage West will be celebrated at 7.30 p.m. in St Mary’s Church, Passage West on Wednesday 2nd November, The Feast of All Souls, whilst the Annual Mass of Remembrance for those who have died in Monkstown, Shanbally and Ringaskiddy will be celebrated in the Church of the Sacred Hearts, Monkstown at 7.30 p.m. on Friday 4th November. We hope you will join us in remembering your loved ones and the deceased of our community this November. Novena Envelopes for those who wish to include the names of departed loved ones will be available in all our Churches next weekend and throughout the Novena. The full timetable for Masses and Services will be printed in next week’s newsletter. May our November Remembrance bring us closer to our loved ones and may our prayers bring them ever closer to God. May they truly rest in peace. Fr Seán