LIPA City, Batangas, Oct. 28, 2015 – Lipa Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles calls on priests, religious, Catholic school heads, and parish leaders in his archdiocese to start “re-Christianizing” Halloween through activities that give special attention to the lives of the saints.
“Please introduce in our parishes and our communities the correct commemoration of the saints and the holy souls during our November celebration of the Church’s triumphs and sufferings,” says the prelate in an Oct. 12 circular.
According to Arguelles, Nov. 1 and 2 are traditionally important dates in the Church calendar during which Catholics worldwide take time to pray for the souls of the departed and to commemorate the Communion of Saints.
Bordering on the demonic
In the same letter, the archbishop expresses concern that the originally wholesome observance of Halloween (“All Hallow’s Even”), the evening immediately preceding All Saints’ Day, appears to have lost its religious character due to various outside influences.
“Unfortunately, secular, consumerist, and pagan practices have also seeped into what is sacred and spiritual in our religious observances,” he notes, referring to American-style Halloween that emphasizes the macabre and seems to border on the demonic.
In line with this, Arguelles appeals to all ordained and unordained ministers of the Lipa See to join him in recapturing the true meaning of the liturgical event.
“May I endorse the proposal of the Prayer Warriors of the Holy Souls [PWHS] to make the Halloween celebrations more focused on the proclamation of saintly life stories,” the prelate adds.
Praying for souls in Purgatory
An apostolate of the Monfort Foundation, the Catholic association explains in its official website its commitment to freeing souls from purgatory through constant prayers which will allow them to enjoy the beatific vision of God.
The group says it strives to create and spread global awareness of the plight of the holy souls and to encourage the faithful to pray for their deliverance.
PWHS Executive Director Chita G. Monfort hopes more Church leaders will follow Arguelles’ example by endorsing the “Season of Remembrance” for the faithful departed in their respective dioceses. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)