Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Christmas and the Souls in Purgatory - A Letter from a Reader

+ J.M.J +

Dear Catholic Faithful,

The subject of this letter is – The Souls in Purgatory

I know we aren’t anywhere near the month of November but with our family the Holy Souls are a year round and daily focus. However, after last year's experience, we learned that what we are about to present needs to be put out there early, if it is to happen in time for Christmas.

We would like to present to you our “Souls in Purgatory Christmas Mass Campaign” which started by God letting a number of things fall into place. Then Mom had an inspiration to act upon these things and get the whole family involved. We have a great devotion to the Holy Souls and have a number of Masses a month said for them, in the traditional rite.

As is our custom, during our evening meal, as a family, we listen to a sermon, some times two, by Traditional priests in the USA, which we get off the internet. There are 3 wonderful sites with tons of great audio sermons. These sermons are such a blessing to our family and such an aid to help us grow in the Faith. The odd meal without them feels like something is missing… which it is, “And Jesus answered him: It is written, that Man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word of God.” Lk4:4 These sermons teach us how to live the Faith.

However, after hearing one sermon, Mom was really touched. In this sermon he mentioned that although he had a large parish, he was disappointed that there was not one request for a Mass for the souls in purgatory, that he could celebrate on Christmas. Therefore, he was going to celebrate one of his three Christmas Masses, himself, for this intention. He reminded us that they are so little remembered on this day and that it is such an important day for them, as more souls are released on this day than any other feast day, according to private revelation.

Mom felt it would be a good thing to create a family Christmas Mass campaign for the Poor Souls and get as many traditional priests to offer one of their Christmas Masses for them. She spoke to all of us, in the immediate family (near and far) and it was decided since we are all getting older and have everything we really need, what better way to spend our Christmas money. Who really needs another useless and worldly knickknack? Therefore, last year, instead of giving gifts to one another, we put this money towards Masses for the Poor Souls and added some extra money for each of these priests, as the Mass stipends are what they have for their personal funds. Each diocese has it’s own customary Mass stipend, so you’ll need to find out what it is for your area. Once we had a grand total, we figured out how many Masses we could have said, as to know how many priests to contact.

Thus started a “writing campaign” in Sept to have Traditional priests from across Canada, for this intention. Our goal was, “From Coast to Coast, Canada will not be forgetful of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.”

With their busy schedule, we sure did not expect the priests we wrote to, to reply with a letter. We had placed it in God’s hands. Of the 11 priests we wrote to, we had 5 confirmed for Christmas Day (one of these being a Midnight Mass, which was a joy and even more than we’d hoped for) and 3 accepted but we weren’t told the date. One had already committed to a Novena of Masses, starting Christmas Day but would do it on Dec 23. One was booked but passed it on to another Traditional priest to offer it instead of himself. One had to return the Mass stipend, saying he was booked solid until Aug 2010. In the end, with the Traditional priests we knew from across Canada (there are many more Traditional priests across Canada that we do not know), we attained our goal of coast to coast, even if we were missing a truly coast to coast to coast coverage, because some provinces we didn’t know a priest to contact but I’m sure God was pleased with the effort and the Holy Souls will ask Him to pour out some mercy on Canada, as we sure need it…, as do all the other countries in the world

I know many have a great devotion to the Holy Souls, and with the success of our little effort, last year, Mom with great excitement, wants to make it be a world wide campaign. Therefore, we have the audacity to ask you to consider adding one more thing to for you to consider, for the sake of the Poor Souls. Through all of you, maybe Mom’s hope will be realized, in possibly making this a worldwide campaign. It is something we’d like to see started even if we will not know who will be participating or what the actual results will be (except for our own efforts in the matter) as it is all in God’s care and some things are not meant for us to know this side of Heaven.

By presenting this to our favorite bloggers, with an international following, we truly believe a ripple effect will be created, just as that sermon started a ripple effect. We wrote this priest last Christmas and told him of this and our success and that we would try to make it be an international idea, for 2010. We let him know his message does get through to people and good is resulting from his words. Sometimes it must seem like an uphill battle for priests and to send words of encouragement and tell them how they are making a difference, can bring them consolation and renew their courage and hope to persevere in the battle of saving souls.

This year we are especially moved by 2 paragraphs from the book “Padre Pio The Wonder Worker” which state,

“In his various letters that he wrote concerning the souls in Purgatory Padre Pio consistently made three points: 1)The importance of the Sacrifice of the Mass for the release of the souls in Purgatory; 2) the deceased still live spiritually among us and have not left us at all; 3) the importance of resignation to God’s will on the death of a loved one, because this is extremely efficacious for the release of their soul from Purgatory.

The souls often forgotten by many of us had a very special place in Padre Pio’s life; in fact they were consistently remembered in his daily prayers and Masses. On one occasion, while in conversation with some friars who were questioning him on the importance of his prayers in their favor, Padre Pio said: “More souls of the dead from Purgatory than of the living climb this mountain to attend my Masses and seek my prayers.”

What an amazing statement! During the fifty-two years he spent at San Giovanni Rottondo he was visited by multitudes of people; yet he made this statement, pointing out that his contact with the souls of the dead exceeded those of the living. Something to consider the next time you attend a funeral where the deceased is “canonized” before he is buried!”

We all have deceased we should be praying for and also for those forgotten souls who have no one to pray for them. The Souls in Purgatory can never be ungrateful and anything we do for them, they will repay us in ways that will be priceless. “It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead” “After they have reached Heaven, they will become our protector and save us from perils.” (2Mac.12:46; St Catherine of Genoa) We also know that if we remember them, while we are living, God will make sure we are remembered, should we have the misfortune of not going straight to heaven and must pay our debt there.

We are not asking you to do what we did and are doing again this year (letters are already sent out) in make it a coast to coast thing in your own respective countries, but if you each could consider having (1) ONE Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered for the Holy Souls, to be said on Christmas Day, or within the Octave of Christmas, in your own parish, or by a priest you know elsewhere, the Poor Souls will be most grateful. From one pole of the Earth to the other, may this Christmas see the Holy Souls not forgotten but given these priceless Christmas gifts.

A special plea is being sent out to those of you in Canada, who know Traditional priests, to seriously consider this, so that maybe this year all the provinces will be represented, for a truly Coast to Coast remembrance of them.

Those of you who decide to participate need to act on this NOW. If you wait and only do it later than mid-October, your chances are much smaller, that your request for a Christmas Mass, will be able to be considered. this is because many Traditional priests are booked for months ahead with Mass requests.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see Masses all around the world being offered for the Holy Souls. What joy there will be in Heaven to see all these souls delivered from their torments. May our hearts be gladdened when we consider that they will be rejoicing in their first Christmas in Heaven because the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered for their release.

It would be great to see the ripple effect of this sermon, which started this, spread across the whole world. By this being posted here, you all in turn can each reach so much further than our family can. From here, it may go to a blog, then to another blog, to another blog… Once it is on the net, God can work it to go where He would like to see it go and reach the people who will be moved to do something for the Poor Souls. Besides also placing this cause under the care of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, we also ask these Poor Souls themselves to place the very fire of Heaven upon this effort we are trying to accomplish for them, so that it has a very blessed outcome.
I think Mom’s idea is a good one.

I am adding, to the bottom of this, a basic letter requesting the Mass. We were able to give a more detailed explanation for making the request and our goals, which can’t be translated to a basic letter. But we know half the battle of letter writing is getting started or not knowing what to write. Feel free to use it if you want and to make alterations, as you see fit.

May God bless you all and Mary, refuge of sinners, intercede on all your behalves.

- A Canadian Family, Devoted to the Souls in Purgatory

+ + + + + + + + +

Dear Rev. Fr. ,

This may seem early but before you know it Christmas will soon be upon us. I know you may be booked for months ahead for Mass requests, so I wanted to get this out early. I also realize I cannot ask for a specific date when requesting a Mass.

However, for the sake of the Holy Souls in Purgatory, who are most in need of gifts this Christmas and who are so forgotten and overlooked during these times of joyful festivities, I make bold to ask you, would you offer one of your Christmas Masses for them?

If it is not possible for it to be offered on Christmas, could it be offered during the Octave of Christmas? If you are not able to do it, is there a priest you could past the request on to?

How grateful these Holy Souls will be. What joy will fill all of Heaven to have these saints arrive to spend their first Christmas in Heaven.

Please find enclosed $ for the Mass stipend.

My heart is full of gratitude for such a priceless gift. Thank You.

May God bless you always,

In the Unity of the Two Hearts,


Shirley said...

Since I am in charge of scheduling Masses in our parish, this is an easy one for me, I just have to ask Fr. if it is all right with him. Christmas is on a Saturday this year.
Your guest poster wrote a beautiful letter. I noticed that she places her emphasis on traditional priests; however we don't all have access to them so please don't shun the Novus Ordo priests in this, as their Masses are just as efficacious for the Holy Souls.

Dancing With Pussycats said...

I have a mass said for the Poor Souls every month. I used to do this through an elderly priest in a retirement home. (And he chose to send the stipends to the missions.) He died a few years ago, and now I request the masses through the missions who are always able to fulfill my requests with one month's notice. I've already arranged masses through the end of the year but will request another for Christmas Day.

paramedicgirl said...

Shirley, I knew we could count on you! With God's grace, we will get many more people to follow suit!

paramedicgirl said...

Dancing - here is an address for a priest who will say the Mass:

Rev. Andrew Szymakowski, FSSP
St. Bridget of Kildare Catholic Church
504 Locust Ave
Nyssa, OR 97913

Anonymous said...

PMG, do you know the proper mass stipend for Fr Andrew's diocese? I'm not sure how much one is suppose to send when it is not in your own diocese. Ours is $10 but I know some places are more and some are less? Thanks


paramedicgirl said...

Elizabeth, I will ask Anita to post it here. God bless!

Anita Moore said...

Hi Elizabeth. It's ten bux. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you Anita and PMG. I'll be able to let others know also.