Area Catholic fourth-grade school students, teachers, staff and parents gathered in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne on Monday, October 31, 2005 for an All Saints Day Mass. More than 600 students, principals, teachers and parents participated through prayer, petitions and singing. Bishop John M. D'Arcy, of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend presided at the Mass with many local and area priests, including Father Joe Rulli from St. Therese in Waynedale, serving as concelebrants.
The students dressed as their favorite saint, someone to emulate, their hero or heroine. They learned from the Bishop D'Arcy's message that saints are not someone to worship or adore, but someone to honor and respect, as we would a good friend. Pray to them and they will intercede before God and can aid those who pray. Teachers, parents, and adults learned to become like a child, humble and pure in heart.
The Feast of All Saints is a day of celebrating all the saints, known and unknown. "Saints are not people who went through life with an easy path to heaven, but faced the same struggles we do every day. They managed to overcome sin in their lives and put God first," D'Arcy said.
And the children sang:
Rejoice and be glad.
Blessed are you, holy are you.
Rejoice and be glad!
Yours is the kingdom of God.
All Saints Day is celebrated on November 1 of each year, by Roman Catholics, the Orthodox, Anglicans, and Lutherans.
In turn, the Feast of All Souls is observed on November 2. It is a day to prayerfully recall those family members, friends and significant people in our lives who have passed.