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Father Muench Says...

All Saints Day reflections

November 3, 2021

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Today, I would like to consider with you All Saints Day. Each year we take this opportunity of All Saints Day to celebrate our own saints – those men and women who have transformed our lives and walked with us to lead us to holiness. Our saints also remind us what life is all about, becoming saints ourselves.

Our Catholic Church has canonized many saints to help us find these wonderful guides and models showing us the way. These saints transform who we are and what we can become. Often, we meet a saint by chance and are surprised to discover how they can be such powerful models. A few years ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to make a personal retreat in Assisi. This became a time for me to meet St. Francis through his writings and from those who wrote about him. Doing this in the very place where Francis lived made such a difference. I walked the streets that he walked, prayed in the churches and places where he prayed, saw the sights that were a constant part of his life… This all had a profound effect on my life. I can truly say that my life was changed by that retreat.
All Saints Day encourages us all to rediscover the saints that touched our lives. We remember our own saints. Many of the saints that have changed my life were never canonized by the Catholic Church. However, I knew them personally, and I am absolutely certain that they are saints. They lived lives of holiness and are with the Lord in Heaven.

I think of my own mother. She was not with us for a very long time. She died young. Yet, her love and concern for her family made a deep influence on each of us, her children.

I think today of many wonderful friends of mine – firstly the priest friends. I knew so many well. I saw how they ministered as priests and brought the love and peace of the Savior to so many families. I listened to them as they preached and taught. I know how they touched my life in such a profound way. They truly helped to lead me to find the Lord Jesus in a deeper way. And because of their friendship, I knew their own holiness. They were truly saints in every way. My own life is better because of they were there to guide me and show me the way.

There were many other friends also – friends to me and friends of the Lord. They were part of my life helping me to discover how to find holiness. I know that most of them would be rather shy in hearing me call them saints today. I guess they wouldn’t feel holy enough. And yet I recognized that they lived such good lives. They brought Jesus to other people and to their part of the world. I think here of the many dedicated parents who helped me understand what forming a family truly means. I think also of so many wonderful people who were dedicated parishioners in some of the various parishes where I was blessed to serve. Again, I learned so much from them. They were truly saints.

And finally, I think today of the wonderful writers and speakers who have taught me so much and helped to form my life. The list is so long! Most of them have not been canonized and yet have brought such great wisdom and holiness to me and to many others. They are truly saints and among my own personal saints.

I write this today in deep gratitude to the Lord who has brought these many saints into my life to guide me that I may one day join them in that Communion of Saints.

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