The Friday Five: Autumn in Arlington

This week, as we remember All Souls Day and All Saints Day, we contemplate the journey to our eternal home in heaven and those souls who have gone before us.

By: Elise Italiano, Director of Communications

There’s no doubt that autumn is my favorite season. I love the crisp weather and bright foliage. But as beautiful as these things are, they also symbolize the impermanence of the material world. The Church marks this with a spiritual season dedicated to the contemplation of the Last Things, remembrance of those who have fallen asleep in Christ, and recollection of the Resurrection and our eternal home.

 

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1

As Pope Saint John XXIII has said:

The devotion to the memory of the dead is one of the most beautiful expressions of the Catholic spirit.

One of my favorite practices is to pray a month-long novena for the souls in purgatory during November. If you’re unable to join, you might consider having a Mass offered for a deceased relative or friend in one of the 69 parishes and  five missions in the diocese.  To find the parish nearest you, search our parish locator on our website.

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Around the Solemnity of All Saints, I always find it particularly inspiring to commit to reading about the life of a particular saint or picking up a spiritual classic written by one. The Diocesan Office of Family Life has compiled a list of spiritual reading for individuals at every stage of their journey.  Perhaps one will be of interest to you this month.

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In his most recent column, Bishop Loverde issued a call to each of us to consider what kind of saints this world needs:

What kinds of saints will our time produce? In this cultural and historical moment, we need women and men who choose life when facing an unplanned pregnancy or unexpected pre-natal diagnosis; single persons who live full and attractive lives while committing to chastity; priests and men and women religious who are willing to give up worldly attractions and rewards for the Kingdom of God; elderly and ill persons who heroically face their suffering at the end of life; professionals who enrich the economic sphere while holding fast to the moral dictates of their consciences; people committed to the service of the poor and the vulnerable; and those who fight the plague of loneliness and despair, instead choosing to cling to hope, which endures because it is anchored in the Lord Jesus.

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In case you missed it, the remains of Saint Maria Goretti, known as the “Little Saint of Great Mercy,” were brought to St. Veronica’s in Chantilly last week as part of a year long “pilgrimage of mercy.”  EWTN News Nightly covered the story this past Monday evening.  The clip begins at minute 20:45.

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It seems the Holy Father also has holiness and heaven on his mind this season, too:

 

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May you continue to have a blessed autumn in Arlington, and may you draw ever closer to the Lord as you journey toward the house of the Father.


Find Elise on Twitter @eliseanne

Follow @Bishop_Loverde on Twitter

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