Memento mori! - Remember that you must die!

Father Pawel Barszczewski OP - Blacktown Campus Chaplain

This old Latin sentence is a reminder that one day we will die, that our death is a part of our life. But we as Christians, don’t believe in death, we believe in life. Unfortunately, a lot of people around us think that death is the end of our life, so they focus only on our existence, here, on earth. They exercise, they have a very healthy diet, they enjoy their lives, and they try not to think about death at all, because of the paralysing fear that death will be the last thing in their lives.

In the Lower Blue Mountains there are two lookouts: Martin’s Lookout and Lost World Lookout. At the first one you will find a small plaque, and on the second, small white cross. This is a memorial dedicated to Brother Eric Raymer, a young teacher at St Patrick's College at Strathfield, who drowned trying to rescue two students in surf at Wollongong in 1953. These students were members of his football team. He lost his life, but this memorial is a celebration of his life, especially his love for bushwalking.

He died but he lives, not only in the memories, but he lives with God, forever.

All Souls Day commemorates the faithful departed. On this day we pray that all who have died may be united with God forever. On this day we are thankful for all good that we have received from those who passed away. We visit graveyards, we light candles, and we pray for them. We trust that our prayers can help them to reach their final destination – heaven, and we do so because we don’t believe in death, we believe in life – life eternal.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

BIO: Fr Pawel Barszczewski OP is the Chaplain at the campus in Blacktown, Spiritual Director for the Holy Spirit Seminary in Parramatta Diocese, and Assistant Priest – St Joseph’s Parish Kingswood. He is a lover of bushwalking, hiking and long distance running.


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