My dear parishioners,
As hard-working Canadians, we always look forward to long weekends, celebrations and family time. After labour day and Thanksgiving, Halloween is the next fun-filled event for kids. Despite its Celtic origin, the current celebration of Halloween with scary demonic decorations and ghost imitation has created so much concern among recent immigrant parents. At the same time, kids really look forward to the trick or treat candy collection night. Therefore, this week, I would like to share my pastoral plan to address this concern of our families.
Halloween is a contraction of Hallow’s Eve or All Saints' Eve, which is observed in several Western Christian countries. It begins the three-day observance dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows) martyrs, and all the faithful departed on November 1st. Today's Halloween traditions are originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, which have had pagan roots prior to Christianity.
Children like candies and fun. Therefore, they might insist to go for trick or treat. At the same time, the scary ghost costumes they wear for the night might defeat the original intent of the night. This is the eve of saints. It is a beautiful opportunity to celebrate and learn about saints.
This year, our parish is offering parents and children a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Halloween without loosing fun and its original intent. Our ‘Catechism of the Good Shepherd’ Ministry with the help of Youth ministry and other lead volunteers of the parish, will be organizing a Saints Costume Contest on Saturday October 26.
There will be cash awards for winners and huge bag of candy for all participants. One of our parishioners who prefer to remain anonymous has generously donated $2000.00 for this beautiful night. Please pray for this family. I would encourage all children to participate in this contest and learn about a saint that you are going to dress up.
I would also invite all families to this beautiful evening to enjoy the saint’s night. You may also consider volunteering and contribute few bags of candies for this night. More details of the contest and celebration will be posted on our info TV and website in the following weeks. Stay tuned…
Fr. James Cherickal, Pastor