Pray for Us • Msgr. James Dubell, pastor of St. Mary of the Lakes Parish, Medford, celebrates Mass Nov. 3 for All Souls Day in St. Mary Mausoleum located on the grounds of St. Mary Cemetery, Hamilton. Joe Moore photo

Pray for Us • Msgr. James Dubell, pastor of St. Mary of the Lakes Parish, Medford, celebrates Mass Nov. 3 for All Souls Day in St. Mary Mausoleum located on the grounds of St. Mary Cemetery, Hamilton. Joe Moore photo

By David Kilby | Correspondent

For the Feast of All Souls, about 130 faithful came to remember and pray for the beloved deceased, and especially those who have no one to remember them, during a Mass celebrated at St. Mary Mausoleum, Hamilton.

Msgr. James Dubell, pastor of St. Mary of the Lakes, Medford, and former diocesan director of cemeteries, celebrated the Mass Nov. 3, the day after the actual feast. In opening, he said, “We’re very proud of the tradition of Catholic cemeteries. They are an extension of our sanctuaries.”

The Readings proclaimed at Mass (the Book of Wisdom, St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans and the Gospel St. John,) were all reminders of the hope in store for those who died with faith in God.

In his homily, Msgr. Dubell said that the tradition of praying for the dead dates back to the Old Testament times when the Israelites believed in the resurrection of the body and believed in praying for the repose of the souls of the deceased.

“Jesus (also) taught that there is a resurrection … there is a heaven,” he continued.

He went on to explain how Purgatory is one of the official teachings of the Church, adding “It’s a beautiful concept. It’s a way of purifying the soul so it is perfectly accepting to union with God.”

He said Purgatory is not a time of punishment, agony or discontent, but a period of purification – so that in heaven, “there will be nothing lacking in the joy they have in knowing, and loving and seeing God face to face,” Msgr. Dubell said.

He spoke of the Resurrection, and how Jesus gave his followers the hope of eternal life and hope of their own resurrection.

“When we reenact what Jesus did at the Last Supper … this is our finest hour, the best prayer on the face of the earth. We offer it not only for ourselves but for the deceased.”

Mark Wilson, diocesan director of cemeteries, said the commemoration of the Feast of All Souls is not typically held in nonsectarian cemeteries.

“It’s a benefit that families look for as part of the reason they choose a Catholic cemetery,” he said. “Their beloved deceased are prayed for. Everyone is constantly remembered. That’s a feature of Catholic cemeteries that causes people to come to them.  It’s also an opportunity to evangelize. Evangelization is done not only in church but in cemeteries as well.”

Bob O’Hare, superintendent of St. Mary Cemetery, said All Souls Day is “for all of us,” and said the Mass provides an “immediate connection” to the deceased because it is celebrated right in a mausoleum.

Wilson said at the cemetery a similar Mass of Remembrance is offered on Memorial Day each year.