Saturday, October 16, 2010

Oakland, CA's "Catholic Voice" Publishes Piece on All Souls Observance in Lithuania

I could refer to "The Catholic Voice" as the Archdiocese of Oakland's "Catholic New York," but it would not be accurate. For one, Father David O'Rourke, OP, co-producer of the film "Red Terror on the Amber Coast" is a parish administrator in this archdiocese and their paper is publishing a piece about the special meaning of the Feast of All Souls, Velines, for Lithuanians.

Father O'Rourke's "Commentary" addresses the process of remembering the dead after 50 years of Soviet occupation during which one out of every six Lithuanian citizens was exterminated. All Souls Day, Lithuanian Catholics remember victims of Soviet occcupation
addresses the remembrance of the souls of 2oth century martyrs of Lithuania, those who were apprehended, killed and buried anonymously in mass graves. Father O'Rourke concludes his piece, saying:

"And in that, I now realize, is the meaning of the candles. They light them, of course, for the dead buried in the cemetery. But they light them also as their point of contact with those who disappeared. They are able to take the blessed candles, made with their own hands with beeswax from their own land and light them to burn throughout the two nights.

They light them to dispel the darkness under which they lived for 50 years. They light them to renew the light of human memories. They light them with the hope that, wherever they may lie, the souls of their dead may be in the hands of God."

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