To be a Dominican is to have great love and care for the dead. For 800 years, Dominicans have religiously carried out customs and practices that focus our prayers on those who have died. No matter how long ago a Sister or Brother died, on the anniversary of their birth into new life, we remember them in prayer by name. In some congregations of Dominican women, short intercessory prayers for the members of their community who have recently died are said for eight days following their funerals.In many priories and houses of Dominican men, the De Profundis, a heartfelt prayer of sorrow for brothers who have died, is prayed each day. The Dominicans celebrate All Saints of the Order of Preachers on November 7 and we celebrate the Anniversary of deceased Sisters and Brothers of the Order on November 8.
Our great love and care for the dead is part of our Dominican spirituality that we offer to the bigger world and that can best be summarized from the thoughts of Thomas Aquinas, OP. Christians are bound together not simply by faith, but also by the grace-given virtue of love. In death, our bond of love is not broken, life is changed, not ended. It is changed in that those who have died have entrusted to us what they themselves received, cared for, and enriched—their faith in God.
On the Feast of All Saints Day, November 1 and All Souls Day, November 2 Masses will be offered at 8:00 am in the chapel. During the entire month of November, A Book of The Names of The Dead will be available near the icon of St. Matthew for you to remember your loved ones by writing their names. Nearby, a candle will be kept burning and the book with its names will be brought forward and placed in the sanctuary during our weekend celebrations.
Fr. Bob Kelly, OP