‘It does not matter where you bury my body. All I ask of you, is that wherever you may be, you should remember me at the altar of the Lord.’: St Monica to St Augustine
Fr Antony Lester, O.Carm writes: "The Carmelite Holy Souls Society reminds us that the Church is not confined to this world, but extends into the next as well. By praying for the dead, as we prayed for them when they were alive, we can establish a special link with the communion of saints. In a way this is a two-way street. We remember them in prayer and we ask them to pray for us. It is a helpful reminder that our brothers and sisters who die do not lose their identity, or their relationship with us. They remain the people that they are and the core of their identity is carefully reserved by God as they are transformed by God’s love and set free to love.
If you are anything like me, I imagine that you may be increasingly aware of just how much unfinished business we have in life. Things we may have said or done which we shouldn’t have, and which we now cannot put right. Often, once a word leaves our mouth, we lose all control over it!
Prayer, true prayer, is always an act of love. Our Catholic Christian tradition assures us that our prayer for the Holy Souls is one of the ways in which God loves our departed brothers and sisters into life in all its fullness. It is a gift of the tenderness of God to allow us to share in this loving process."
For many years, the National Shrine of Saint Jude has promoted the Carmelite devotion to the souls of the departed by establishing a Dead List that is renewed each year. People simply send in their lists of dead relatives and friends to be included in our prayers for the Holy Souls.
All those on your list will become members of the Carmelite Holy Souls Society for the year.
1. A daily Mass for deceased relatives and friends through the year (except the three days of Holy Week);
2. A Mass each month for deceased members and benefactors;
3. A share in the Masses, prayers and good works of the whole Carmelite Order.