November 1st is a pretty big day for us. To begin with it is our Patronal Feast Day as All Saints Sisters dedicated to all the Saints.
The Feast of All Saints or All Saints Day originally honored the martyrs of the early Church. In those tumultuous days, Christians were not free to worship and so they were hunted and persecuted. Many of those early Christians suffered martyrdom as a result of their steadfast faith in Jesus Christ. The Church’s desire was to honor those Christians, known and unknown, as persecution intensified and more lives were taken. As martyrdom was recognized as a path to sanctity, this celebration ensured that all martyrs would be properly honored. It was only much later when Christians were granted the freedom to worship, that the Church, in acknowledging other paths to sanctity, broadened the celebration to include those who had attained to sainthood outside of martyrdom.
All Saints Day is also significant for us because on November 1, 2011 our Community was erected by decree as a Priory Sui iuris of Diocesan Right by then Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, now Cardinal O’Brien. That to which we had been aspiring, had finally been attained.
So we have two reasons to celebrate this great Feast! In our Community our celebrations are centered on the Liturgy and the Feast of All Saints is no exception. We may be few in number, but we do the best we can and we even try to sing as much of Mass as we are able.
We also celebrate by inviting our guests and other friends to share a festive dinner and supper with us. We might even have some entertainment if Sisters start feeling creative. Who knows what will happen tomorrow, but one thing is certain, we will be honoring all the saints and giving thanks for those in our own Community who have gone on before us.