Q&A All Saints Day

Hank Wagner, Senior Writer

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After the All Saints Day mass, you may be wondering, what is All Saints Day?

All Saints Day is a Roman Catholic holiday dating back to around the 13th century. The day celebrates the all those who have lived lives of heroic holiness, even if the Church has not canonized as official Saints. All Saints Day is an obligatory holiday, or holy day of obligation, which means that all Catholics are obligated to go to mass as if it were a Sunday. Coach Heffernan, a religion teacher at DePaul Prep, was asked to explain why All Saints Day is an obligatory holiday and why it’s important in the first place.

Q: Why is All Saints Day important to the Church?

Coach Heffernan: Because it celebrates all of the people who have done great work in the church and their history.

Q: Why is All Saints Day a holy day of obligation, when we are asked to go to mass, like on a Sunday?

Coach Heffernan: Because it’s important to remember and recognize the things that the saints have done and how they played an important role in the history and today in the Catholic Church. We learn from their examples and hopefully their heroic stories help us become closer to God.

Q: What makes certain holy days obligatory and other holy days not? Who decides that?

Coach Heffernan: The church magisterium (which is the teaching office of the Church made up of the Pope and Bishops) decides which days are obligatory. There’s a lot of meaning behind different holy days that are more significant to our faith and beliefs about God and Jesus and All Saints Day is one of those days.

As Mr. Heffernan said, “people are expected to go to church on All Saints Day,” hence the reason DePaul Prep celebrated mass on Thursday, November 1.

Senior Parfait Ouedraogo, who reads at the masses, was also asked to talk about what happened at the mass and his understanding of All Saints Day.

Q: What do you enjoy about reading the masses for All Saints Day?

Parfait: I enjoy doing the All Saints Day masses because I think it is an important holiday for our faith, and I feel that by reading during mass helps other students understand that.

Q: What do you think makes All Saints Day obligatory over different holidays?

Parfait: Well because we’re celebrating the feast day of all of the Saints, I think that it’s an important day to give some thought to all bout the good works of the Saints and how they lived, and maybe how we can add some of that thinking to our lives.

All Saints Day is a very special holiday for all Catholics and a good celebration for all people who believe in God and doing his work on earth. Now you know what All Saints Day celebrates.