12 Nov 2020
Message of the Provincial | November 12, 2020
November is the month traditionally dedicated to offering prayers for the deceased. This year, because of the pandemic, the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Vatican has decreed that the Plenary Indulgences for the deceased faithful will be extended throughout the entire month of November. The usual practices of going to Mass or visiting a cemetery may not have been possible for many people. Still, I encourage all the SDBs and members of the Salesian Family to remember our deceased confreres, relatives, and friends in prayer throughout the month, some of who died and were buried without the usual funeral rites. Here is a list of the SDBs from our province who have died during this calendar year:
February 6, 2020 Peter Sella
February 10, 2020 Joseph Tortorici
February 27, 2020 Dominique Britschu
March 23, 2020 Robert Bauer
April 2, 2020 Richard McCormick
April 26, 2020 Emilio Allué
May 15, 2020 Joseph Santa Bibiana
June 19, 2020 Kenneth Germaine
September 13, 2020 Roméo Trottier
October 24, 2020 John Masiello
Here are some details on the Decree on Plenary Indulgences for the deceased faithful in the current pandemic:
1.) The Plenary Indulgence for those who visit a cemetery and pray for the deceased, even if only mentally, normally established only on the individual days from 1 to 8 November, may be transferred to other days of the same month, until its end.
2.) The Plenary Indulgence of 2 November, established on the occasion of the Commemoration of all the deceased faithful for those who piously visit a church or oratory and recite the “Our Father” and the “Creed” there, may be transferred to another day of the month of November, freely chosen by the individual faithful.
The elderly, the sick, and all those who for serious reasons cannot leave their homes, for example, because of restrictions of the pandemic, are able to obtain the Plenary Indulgence as long as they join spiritually with all the other faithful, completely detached from sin and with the intention of complying as soon as possible with the three usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion, and prayer according to the Holy Father’s intentions), before an image of Jesus or the Blessed Virgin Mary, recite pious prayers for the deceased, for example, Lauds and Vespers of the Office of the Dead, the Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, other prayers for the deceased, or occupy themselves in considered reading of one of the Gospel passages proposed by the liturgy of the deceased, or perform a work of mercy by offering to God the sorrows and hardships of their own lives.
The members of the provincial council and I would very much like to gather many confreres, colleagues, and friends together for a Mass commemorating our deceased brothers and sisters. It does not seem like we will be able to do this anytime soon. Instead, let us take advantage of the extension of the indulgence for the deceased faithful and go to confession, celebrate a Mass together as a Salesian community for our departed dear ones, and offer prayers throughout the month for this intention.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.
St. Joseph, patron of a holy death, pray for us.
Fr. Tim Zak