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all_souls In union with the whole Church, the Nigerian Region of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy Congregation marked the ALL SOULS day on 2nd November, 2017 by gathering and praying at the graves of the deceased members of the Congregation at Sons Of Mary Mother of Mercy Novitiate house at Umule-Ohuhu, Abia State, at 12:00 noon. The prayers began with the concelebrated Holy Mass presided by the Superior General, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. George Okorie, SMMM and the Office of the Dead prayed within the Mass.

all_souls In the homily, Rev. Fr. Bruno Ezeanowai, SMMM, highlighted that we are gathered to pray for our deceased members because of our faith in the resurrection of the dead . Using the story of Elisha whose dead bones in the grave revived a dead man in the scriptures (cf. 2Kgs), he pointed out that the grave/life is not a place of nothingness, instead we live for something – God, and that is why we are gathered at the graveside of deceased members. Equally, using the story of the raising of Lazarus from the dead with emphasis on Jesus’ words to the people gathered “remove the stone covering the grave… and unbind him” to stress the role of the living to the dead. Thus, the living can help the dead in the grave as they can no longer help themselves.

Hence, just as the people that removed the stone covering the grave of Lazarus and those who unbound him, we are gathered to do same for our deceased members. Further ,he exhorted us to always be found praying for the dead and also live our lives in view of the resurrection. For him, let us live good lives to the extent that people can truthfully write as an epitaph for us ‘here lies the good man… He tried to live the good life’ . He encouraged everyone to always play the good neighbour to the dead by praying for them.

all_souls Next, at the end of the Holy Mass at the Novitiate Chapel, the procession led to the grave yard where Rev. Fr. Edwin Nwofor, SMMM, articulated a vocal prayer for our deceased members and blessed their graves on behalf of the SMMM congregation . Again, the party left for Mater Dei Cathedral, Umuahia, to pray at the grave of our Father Founder, late Bishop Anthony Gogo Nwedo, CSSp . The prayer was led by the Vicar General of SMMM, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Polycarp Chukwu. Equally, the grave of Late Rev. Fr. Michael Chukwu was visited with a prayer led by Rev. Fr. Innocent Ekeagwu, SMMM.

all_souls In conclusion, it was a wonderful event as we felt the touch of the dead in praying at their graves. We felt being one again with our deceased members.

Finally, the Superior General, appreciated all who attended this special encounter with our deceased members to mark the ALL SOULS in practical terms.