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Archbishop Palma: Prayer more important than visit to cemetery

CEBU, Philippines - One need not feel bad if he cannot visit his departed loved one’s grave on All Souls’ Day. What is more important is that he offers a prayer for that loved one, said Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.

“It is not necessary that we still go home. If there’s a possibility, it’s good, but if not, we should not feel so bad because our prayers could reach our dear departed,” Palma said in an interview.

The Archbishop issued the statement to appease Catholics who, because of circumstances beyond their control, are unable to return to their provinces and visit their departed loved ones at the cemetery.

Aileen Mercado, a bar attendant in Cebu, had to leave Abuyog, Leyte on October 31 because of her work here. She felt bad that she was unable to visit her grandparents and other relatives at the cemetery.

“Bisan si kinsa siguro maguol, but kinahanglan man sad magtrabaho gud,” Mercado said.

The FREEMAN reporter Ryan Christopher Sorote himself had to adjust to the fact that he had to stay in Cebu City for work on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. For the past five years, he manned the assistance desk at his parish in Ormoc City during Todos Los Santos.

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It was the first time in many years that he failed to visit his departed loved ones in Ormoc yesterday, especially his grandfather whom he was very close. It saddened him, he said, but he also understood the demands of his job as a journalist.

“I felt bad at first kay first time ni nga di ko kapanagkot sa sementeryo. And I’ve been also helping in coordinating with the people in cemeteries sa among place,” he said.

Through a prayer, he reportedly informed his grandfather in advance that he could not visit his grave this year.

“I know I have other responsibilities here and I’m sure Lolo will understand,” he said.

Palma said wherever a person may be, his prayer will reach his departed loved ones.

He also encouraged everyone to make Todos Los Santos or All Saints’ Day as an opportunity to reflect on God’s call to partake in a life that has no end.

“Buot pasabot that even as we honor several saints na mga famous kaayo, but the Church reminds us that there are millions of others who are now in heaven whose memory we recall and we believe. We remember them in gratitude,” he said.

The Archbishop also called on the faithful to pray for the souls in purgatory.

“Our prayers would help them go to heaven soon mao we offer our prayers and sacrifices. And it’s a tradition, it’s a good practice to remember them kay ato na silang parents or lolo and lola and they are related to us in many wonderful ways,” Palma added. – (FREEMAN)

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