November is a special month for the Congregation of the Humility of Mary (CHM) as they dedicate this time of thanksgiving to remembering their own departed loved ones and also praying for all the departed listed in the Book of Eternal Life . Many of our relatives, friends and benefactors have responded to our offer to pray for their deceased loved ones. We honor their requests by incuding the names in The Book of Eternal Life which was placed in the Magnificat Chapel on October 31 prior to All Saints and All Souls Days. The sisters remember them in morning and evening prayers throughout the month of November. In addition, many sisters take the time to sit with the book in the chapel, praying and reflecting during the day.
As Catholics, we believe that death does not end the strong connections of faith, family and friendship that unite us during our lifetime. Sister Rachel Beeson, CHM, stated, “The departed are still with us and yet we pray that they are with God. It makes us feel better to remember them in prayer in November and throughout the year.”
Sr. Greta Fitzgerald, CHM, has many memories of going to the cemetery on All Souls Day as a youth with her family and also recalls including this tradition as a young teacher. “When I was first teaching, we used to take kids to the cemetery every year to pray for the dead.” Remembering the departed continues to be an important component of her spiritual life. “Putting aside time to pray for those who have died, reminds us to stop our busy lives. It makes us think about the reality of life. Praying for the the dead brings them to mind and reminds of our connections to each other,” she said.
Sr. Kathleen Henneberry added, "The Liturgy Committee helps us formalize our prayers for the departed. At morning prayer we add a special intercession and prayer after the final intercession from our community prayer book. We also include the deceased in the Prayer of the Faithful at daily Mass."
To add names to the “Book of Eternal Life” contact the development office at 563-336-8401. In addition to the special focus on the departed during the month of November, CHMs always respond to requests for prayers throughout the year. If you have a prayer request for any reason, you may click here to submit.