All Souls’ Day is a day of remembrance of those who have gone before us; a day to pray and to remember.
Cemeteries have always been special places for me. I love walking around and getting lost as I read the names and dates and little inscriptions on the aged headstones~ imagining what their lives were like, who they loved, how their lives impacted others, and what their descendants are doing today.
I have not been to too many cemeteries where I actually know the people who are buried there, but there is one where I do, and that is the cemetery for the Daughters of Charity at the Seton Shrine in Emmitsburg, MD. I lived there when I was in high school, and I used to visit the retired Sisters who lived on the skilled care unit. I really think the seeds of my discernment with the Daughters were planted there with the Sisters I visited: Srs. Angela Cool, Anne Black, Frances Marie Lanasa, James Regina, and many more. I have been back to Emmitsburg three times since I’ve moved away, and have made time to go and visit these Sisters who are no longer on the skilled care unit, but out back behind the Shrine near the little patch of trees separating the church grounds from the fire academy.
Some of the people who I volunteered with at the nursing home have told me that these Sisters prayed often that I would discover my vocation and discern (God-willing!) with the Daughters! I know their prayers and example have had an impact on my life’s journey as I move into the fourth month of my postulancy year with the Sisters.
There is a cemetery here in the St. Louis area that I have found is a good place to go~ winding paths, old trees with branches that go on forever and ever, even a marsh full of frogs! And among all the nature are peoples’ lives and stories.
Who in your life has passed but left an impact on your soul? How has your life’s journey been changed because of the people you have encountered?
This All Souls’ Day, thank God for these people, these souls who have gone before us to eternal life. Also, try to visit a cemetery, even if you don’t know anyone there; who knows who you might meet and who you may be inspired to pray for, and who may be praying for you.
Written by: Josephine Lomasney, Postulant
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