Have you ever thought about who you would see when you get to Heaven? I mean beyond God, Mary, and the Saints? I’m talking about the people that you knew from here on earth.
For me I can’t wait to see my mom, my grandparents, my friend, Ellen, and finally, Fr. John Cullen. I think about this every year around All Souls Day.
The Catholic Church is a beautiful faith tradition that has many practices that are so unbelievably cool. One such tradition is All Souls Day. It is so awesome that we commemorate the dead every year and that we pray for them. It is a great time to remember your loved ones who have died and reminisce about the value and importance they have had in your life.
The gift of a good and holy example
Fr. Cullen had been the priest at St. Matthew Parish in Clare, IA. for a very long time. He was an elderly man by the time I met him but he still seemed bigger than life and was always on the go.
Fr. Cullen and I have a bit of an interesting story. I was born out of wedlock and my mom wasn’t Catholic. I, however, wanted very much to be Catholic and he wasn’t so sure that was a good idea.
I wore Fr. Cullen down with my politeness and insistence on joining the faith and he accepted me into the Catholic Community despite some grousing from the parishioners. I will never as long as I live forget how kind and generous he was, and how much he loved the faith.
When I was going into fourth grade my mom took a job in Des Moines. Upon learning that I would be going to public school because mom couldn’t afford Catholic school, Fr. Cullen offered to pay for my tuition. He paid my tuition at Catholic School for four years until he died. Much of who I am today is greatly associated with who he was and how he treated me. My admiration for Fr. Cullen is still so strong today as I think of his selflessness. What a good and holy man.
This year as we approach All Souls Day, remember those that have passed and those you can’t wait to be reunited with. Set up a prayer space with their pictures and pray to the Lord our God that they are comforted and loved by Him. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for all that they are and all that they gave. I will be praying for my loved ones.
Who will you be praying for?
(Terry Clark, Youth and Young Adult Ministry Coordinator, Ss John & Paul parish)