All Souls Day 2020

I’m sure we have all heard this little prayer: “St. Anthony, St. Anthony, turn around, something’s lost and must be found.”

So often we pray to St. Anthony for lost items such as keys, wallets, a purse, or maybe important documents. We might even pray to St. Anthony to help us find a parking space. However, one of the most painful losses that each of us suffer in our lives is the death of a loved one.

This is a loss that is not about finding an item, but rather about the loss of a presence in our lives. This may be a different way of praying to St. Anthony. Our prayer to St. Anthony is not so much about some-thing lost, but more about some-one lost from our lives.

This would be a time to turn to St. Anthony for comfort in our loss, in our pain and in our grief. Asking St. Anthony to help us find comfort, peace, and the knowledge that our lost loved one is with God, can be our prayer during November, the month of All Souls.

Because of the coronavirus, we are living in very different and uncertain times, facing death and tragedy daily. As we applaud the heroes of our country, the first responders and the medical personnel who are working so hard to protect us and care for us, we also see the horrific death, confusion and division caused by this disease.

As we mourn, and as we renew our hope in God and our Wonderworker Friend, St. Anthony, we can join together and pray for our own beloved deceased loved ones, and all who have died from this horrific virus.

This November, once again, we will begin our Thirty Days and Thirty Nights of prayer for our deceased loved ones.

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During this month of All Souls, we will remember all those we have loved in a special 30-day novena of Masses celebrated at St. Anthony Friary in Butler, NJ.

During the Mass we will pray for the times that:

“life is changed, not ended,” and
“now there will be no more tears and no more sorrow” and
“a place where every tear will be wiped away.”

Here on earth, we deeply miss our loved ones who have died. We know that our tears here are not wiped away, and they will continue until we meet those we love and embrace them in the presence of God. Only then, will “every tear will be wiped away.”

Until that time, all we can do here is pray for our loved ones, speak to them from the depth of our hearts and, through this novena, remember them in a special way during this sacred time of prayer and love. This is a sacred time of memories and healing, sadness and sorrow, faith, hope and love. Be a part of this sacred time of prayer and worship, and let us share your memories, and together we will be sustained by God’s love.

Thirty Days and Thirty Nights, “a time of great prayer for our loved ones,” will begin on November 1st with the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls and then continue all month with 30 consecutive Masses and the daily prayers of the Friars. The 30 days and nights of prayer will be celebrated at St. Anthony’s Friary in Butler, NJ.

The Franciscan Friars invite you to join us for this sacred time of Thirty Days and Thirty Nights, of prayer and Masses, for all of our loved ones who have gone to God.

Please join us throughout this month of worship and prayer in memory of all those we have loved and cared for in our lives. Please pray the touching prayers found in our November All Souls Prayer Card for all those whom you would like to remember during this very sacred time of prayer throughout November.

Your gift will also help those here on earth who are God’s poor and who desperately need our help each day. As we pray for those who are with God now, we must always remember those who are God’s poor on earth. Please be generous – remember Love At Work is the motto of St. Anthony’s Guild.

As we join in prayer and worship during this 30-day novena of Masses, we remember, we cry, we laugh and in these tender moments, look forward to the day we will walk again with all those we have loved and missed so much.

Only then, “will every tear be wiped away.”

St. Anthony, St. Anthony turn around, I pray that comfort and peace may be found.

May the Lord bless you with peace and comfort,
Fr. David Convertino, OFM
Executive Director
St. Anthony’s Guild