Dear Friends of Saint Ann’s Shrine,
On November 2, we will celebrate “All Souls’ Day.” It gives us a time to remember all those who have passed from this life to the next and are assured of enjoying the blessedness of heaven, but require purification before doing so. The notion of praying for the dead goes back to the beginnings of the church. The Catholic Church has always taught that all of us are linked: those in heaven, purgatory, and here on earth. Our concern and our prayers are all linked.
There is ample evidence of the custom of praying for the dead in the inscriptions of the catacombs, with their constant prayers for the peace of the souls of the departed, and in the early liturgies. In the sixth century, the Benedictine monastery of Cluny chose the day after All Saints’ Day for all its dependent monasteries to commemorate the faithful departed, to be observed with alms, prayers, and sacrifices for the relief of the suffering souls in purgatory.
In the Philippines, where I served for many years, the people celebrate this a day early by spending the whole day in the cemeteries celebrating their departed relatives and friends. They bring picnic lunches and have a festive family reunion.
This year a man who was spiritual director here at Saint Ann’s Shrine is one of the faithful departed for whom we can all remember and pray. Father Mike Noreika, S.S.S., went to his reward this past August. Fr. Mike ministered here at Saint Ann’s Shrine for 15 years, in which time he endeared himself to many because of his genuine goodness. He had a sense of humor, an infectious laugh, and a deep concern for people. He seldom forgot people he met.
A former parishioner and student of his wrote and said that “his interest in you didn’t dwindle as you changed or got older. This characteristic made him a wonderful spiritual leader.” Fr. Mike enjoyed his work at the Shrine, where he exhibited the same characteristics. He had a genuine devotion to Saint Ann, as well as a deep commitment to the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. He discerned that God was calling him to our congregation after teaching for five years in our minor seminary in Waupaca, Wisconsin, his home state. He is sincerely missed by everyone.
Can you, in Fr. Mike’s memory, as well as all your loved ones, make a gift to Saint Ann’s Shrine and to the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament? Be assured that it is the sacrifices of people like you that make our work possible. Your intentions are always placed at the feet of Saint Ann’s statue here at the Shrine, where I am sure that good Saint Ann will more than favor you with her intercession.
God Bless You!
Rev. Roger Bourgeois, SSS
Chaplain, Saint Ann’s Shrine
*Please share your story of how Fr. Mike or a member of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Community has made an impact on your life! We would be so grateful to hear from you!
*Join us at Saint Ann’s Shrine for Daily Mass at 11:30AM, Monday-Friday (call for Holidays)
* The Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament offers a daily devotion/reflection. If you’d like to receive this uplifting message, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* We have Blessed Oil and Holy Water available for a suggested donation of $6.00 per bottle. Contact Saint Ann Shrine at 440-449-2700 or st-ann-shrine.org.
* You can still support our Annual Appeal through December 31st!
* Be sure to “Like” us on Facebook & visit our website
* Please consider sharing contact information for 3 of your friends or relatives that may be interested in supporting and learning about Saint Ann’s Shrine.
* Please ask your employer if they support a matching gift program and your donation may be doubled!
* Become a member of our Legacy Society by informing us that Saint Ann’s Shrine has been named in your will. For more information, please contact Scott Gongos, Director of Mission Advancement, at 440-449-2700 or email@example.com.