Bishop, priests celebrate Mass for faithful departed on All Souls’ Day Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 -- 12:00 AM
all souls
Bishop Donald J. Hying of Madison prays at the crypt of Bishop Robert C. Morlino during an All Souls’ Day observance at Resurrection Cemetery in Madison on November 2. November 24 marks the one year anniversary of Bishop Morlino’s death. To view or purchase photos, go to (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

MADISON -- On All Souls’ Day, November 2, everyone had a reason for being at Resurrection Cemetery in Madison.

Some people were there to pray for loved ones and friends, recently or long since passed.

Some people were there to pray for the dead who have no one else to pray for them.

Some people were there to pray for repose of the soul of Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, who died one year ago on November 24.

Whatever their reasons, more than two or three were gathered in the Lord’s name to remember the dead.

All Souls’ Day Mass

Bishop Donald J. Hying of Madison celebrated a Mass for the commemoration of the faithful departed in the chapel at Resurrection Cemetery.

Several priests from the Diocese of Madison concelebrated the Mass with the bishop.

At the start of the Mass, in the chapel where nearly every seat was filled, Bishop Hying greeted everyone and thanked them for coming.

He remarked that the Church designates All Souls’ Day to pray for the dead.

“We ask God to apply the infinite merits of his son’s death and resurrection” and the “need of salvation and purification for our brothers and sisters” for their entrance into the “glory of eternal life.”

Bishop Hying added that “in a special way we pray for all the dead of our diocese . . . especially for Bishop Morlino. This month marks the first anniversary of his passing. We offer this Mass for him both for his soul, but also in thanksgiving of his leadership and service.”

Later, during his homily, Bishop Hying said that All Souls’ Day is the day we, as Catholics, “focus on the very essence of our Christian faith” in Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead.

“We stake our lives, our faith, our hearts” on that, Bishop Hying added.

He continued, “The Good News of the Gospel is that God enters into the very mystery of our death . . . in Jesus’ death on the cross, God embraces everything within us that’s broken, sinful, and dead” and lifts it up to the Father.

Praying for the dead means to pray for the souls in purgatory and that they will reach heaven.

“I’ve always found Purgatory to be profoundly consoling,” said Bishop Hying.

“It means that even after death, God isn’t finished with us yet. He doesn’t give up on us. He’s still molding us and shaping us” until “that glorious moment” when we get to heaven.

Citing Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop Hying said that purgatory means that “God can put the pieces back together, again.”

He added, “We believe that our prayer, our penance, our sacrifice, our celebration of the Mass” are an offering to God for those who are still being purified.

The bishop encouraged everyone to pray and love each other closer to the mercy of Christ.

“We pray, today, for all of our beloved dead, those who have given birth to us, those who have formed us, those who taught us, those who have loved us, those who prayed our way to where we are today,” Bishop Hying said.

He added that we can also pray for people that we don’t know who also need to reach heaven.

Remembering Bishop Morlino

Both because of All Souls’ Day, and the nearing one-year anniversary of his death on November 24, prayers at the Mass were offered for Bishop Morlino.

Bishop Hying said he is “blessed to be the inheritor of [Bishop Morlino’s] legacy . . . the legacy that he leaves in this diocese”.

He noted Bishop Morlino’s “passion for truth of the faith and his courage to proclaim that, no matter the consequences, no matter the resistance.”

He also recalled the late bishop’s “great love for our priests and seminarians” and gave thanks for a “whole new generation of young priests that makes my life so much easier as I look at future planning and the future needs of the diocese.”

He also mentioned Bishop Morlino’s “beautiful reverence for the liturgy . . . his passion that everyone experience the beauty of Catholic liturgy.”

Bishop Hying also noted his predecessor’s “desire for catechesis” that was solid, substantial, true, and transformative.

He invited everyone to pray for all the deceased bishops of the diocese.

Cemetery procession

Following Mass, the servers and priests led a procession from the chapel to Bishop Morlino’s crypt.

There, Bishop Hying led a scriptural Rosary, praying the Glorious Mysteries, including the Resurrection of Jesus.

Bishop Hying called it a “blessing” to pray there, being his first visit to Bishop Morlino’s crypt.

Following the Rosary, a reception was held for everyone who attended.

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