In celebration of All Souls’ Day, three altars at three different locations supported by Viatorians, all featured altars or ofrendas set up in the tradition of Día de Los Muertos.
“Tonight we honored lost loved ones from 12 different countries and three faith traditions — as one community of hope and support,” said Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, executive director of Viator House of Hospitality.
Sr. Rayo Cuaya-Castillo, SH, case manager at Viator House, led its prayer service. Men in the house brought forward photos of loved ones, as well as special foods and other symbols of their life.
“It’s not meant to be a period of mourning, but a celebration of life,” says Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, director of its programming and housing.
The tradition of Día de Muertos dates back more than 3,000 years ago to Southern Mexico, but increasingly it has been embraced in this country for the joy it brings to remembering loved ones who have passed away.
On the feast of All Souls’ Day, Fr. Corey celebrated Mass outdoors at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep, where Viatorians are one of its endorsing communities. The liturgy took place after students and their family members had a “drive-through ofrenda,” where they could stop and leave a photo, flowers, food or simply take a moment to pause and give thanks.
Members of the Viatorians were in attendance at the Mass, as well as Preston Kendall, president of the school, however most families watched the celebration over livestream.
“The Día De Los Muertos tradition reminds us to honor those who have passed on,” Fr. Corey said. “May we all honor our lost loved-ones, especially by living their best qualities in our lives.”
Finally, Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, Provincial, celebrated the annual Alumni Memorial Mass Sunday at Saint Viator High School, where for the first time it featured framed yearbook photos of this year’s lost alumni, in front of the altar.
“The invincible spirit of your loved one is still alive,” Fr. Hall said. “And that is why we gather. To remember, is to bring to life again.”