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Saints and Souls that Go Before Us

November is the month that we shine the perpetual light on the great saints of our church and dedicate time to pray for the souls of those we love who may be in purgatory. There are many ways communities across the country pay homage to these Catholic observances.

The first day of this month is All Saints Day, a Holy Day of Obligation. However, we celebrate the feasts and solemnities of the following saints this month specifically: St. Martin de Porres (November 3), St. Charles Borromeo, (November 4), Lateran Basilica (November 9), St. Leo the Great (November 10), St. Martin of Tours, (November 11), St. Josaphat(November 12), St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (November 13), St. Albert the Great (November 15), Sts. Margaret of Scotland and Gertrude (November 16), St. Elizabeth of Hungary (November 17), Presentation of Mary (November 21), St. Cecilia (November 22), Sts. Clement I and St. Columban (November 23), St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions(November 24), the Solemnity of Christ the King and St. Catherine of Alexandria (November 25) and St. Andrew (November 30). There many churches who will add evening services to allow for the numbers of the faithful who have to work during the day to provide an opportunity to be compliant with the obligation.

What Can You Do To Shine The Light On This Holy Day With Social Media?

Creating cover pages and graphics to remind followers to save the date and provide mass schedules for the Holy Day increases mass attendance. Lastly, a simple post asking who their favorite saint is sparks engagement! November 2nd is designated as All Souls Day, a day dedicated to pray for all of the souls of the faithfully departed. Different cultures throughout the various dioceses around the world will celebrate this spiritual observance in different ways. Last year, the wildly popular animated movie “CoCo” illustrated the beauty of the Mexican tradition of Dia De Los Muertos. In the United States the state of Lousiana has long practiced a family tradition of physically caring for the final resting places of the souls of the faithfully departed in their families.

What Can Your Parish Do To Celebrate All Souls Day?

Promoting novena opportunities via social media with links to digital payment options is also a great post idea. My parish posts names of the the faithfully departed in our parish who have passed away the calendar year before. Traditionally, holding a mass for the souls of the faithfully departed is a great way to practice one of the tenets of my 5 Things That Every Parish Should Post strategy of sharing your parish and community life.

Did You Know November is Black Catholic History Month?

We are a universal church and there is a rich history of the contributions of Black and or African-American Catholics who have helped to grow and shape aspects of our history. I wrote an article on it that can be shared on your pages to inform, inspire and educate followers about the impact of this community. In fact, this month we celebrate the memorial of St. Martin de Porres, the patron of African-American and mixed race peoples, barbers, hairdressers, social justice and race relations.

For Americans this month is also the gateway to the holiday season as we celebrate Thanksgiving. A time to be with family and to give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy over traditional meals that are reflective of our unique cultures. It’s also an opportunity for parishes to encourage followers to engage on #GivingTuesday. Another way to encourage followers is to ask them to share pictures of their #ThanksgivingTable on the holiday or share what they are most thankful for!

Every month we should share and pray for Our Holy Father’s Intention and this month it is,“In Service of Peace”: That the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict, share the messages of our pastors, priests and deacons. There are many ways to share their messages via social media whether it’s in the form of a video, a graphic or audio clip. There is a Pope Video channel on You Tube that you may share on your pages easily also.

Lastly, Advent begins on December 2nd and this is the perfect time to share how your parish prepares for the season as a “behind the scenes” post. Where does your advent wreath come from? Do you store it from year to year? Does your liturgical environment team select it from a farm or florist and then decorate it? Whatever you do sharing the process with your followers will be engaging.

Happy social media planning!

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