Royal Palm Beach | Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito celebrated Mass Nov. 2, All Souls Day, and delivered messages of hope and pieces of advice about walking the true path of life toward the open gates of heaven.
Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Cemetery in Royal Palm Beach organized the 10 a.m. Mass at the outside chapel. Priests of the diocese took part in the Mass, and people from around the diocese turned out for the celebration and to visit gravesites.
Father Zbigniew (Andy) Rudnicki, director of the cemetery, and Thomas Jordan, cemetery administrator, welcomed those gathered to pray and thanked Bishop Barbarito and priests for attending. “With you, we pray for those buried here at Our Lady Queen of Peace, and we pray for those buried in other places of the world,” Father Rudnicki said.
Bishop Barbarito expressed his joy to be at the cemetery and with all gathered to commemorate the special day remembering souls who have passed from this life.
He reminded all that life is a blessing from God. During his homily he reflected on the words of St. Paul VI, a modern-day holy man recently canonized, and his words on life and death. “He was always fixed on heaven,” said Bishop Barbarito.
“God has given us this life and so many blessings,” he said. “We can easily get caught up on this earth with things that consume us. We are losing the vision, the vision of heaven. We are on a journey. That is what our life is all about.”
Bishop Barbarito concluded by calling all to remain focused on heaven throughout the journey of life.
“All of those who have gone before us will journey with us and make our journey easier,” he said about walking the path of holiness towards eternal life.
Following the Mass, a procession led to the cemetery’s Angel of Hope Children’s Memorial Garden. The garden, designed with a flowing fountain, seating, shrub and flower garden and Angel of Hope statue, is constructed with those suffering and grieving from the loss of a child in mind. The idea of the memorial was conceived over seven years and brought to realization through the efforts of local parents of a peer support group formed by and for parents whose children have died. Members of the Compassionate Friends group helped with fundraisers, but then came permits, approvals and delays.
“We want to say that today this project is completed,” said a delighted Jordan. Bishop Barbarito blessed the statue and sprinkled holy water on all to conclude the morning celebration.