By Father Timothy Gollob
Special to The Texas Catholic
It is a good and holy custom to honor them. My connection with them stems from the great devotion of my great aunt, Annie Pruitt. She was a school teacher who demanded effort and results from her students. She also was devoted to her family and spent much money and many hours of physical labor in the cemetery at Laneville, Texas. To this day, flowers are springing from the bulbs that she planted 70 years ago.
I also was impressed by the Campo Verano in Rome, where thousands of Romans flocked each All Souls’ Day to decorate the graves of their loved ones. Walls of flowers festooned the roads leading up to that holy place.
It has been a custom of mine to look for signs from nature after the passing from this world of one of my friends or relatives. It seems that birds have been the messenger in some of these incidents.
Just after my father died, a ringed dove appeared in a tree in my yard only for a short visit and then was gone. When my great fishing partner Father Frank Becker died, the next day a Wilson’s Warbler hit one of the windows in the church. I hastened out to pick it up (thinking it to be dead) and it flew away!
But there are feasts of the church on which some died and those dates are worthy of remembering. Father Robert Peter McGill died on the Feast of the Holy Cross. Msgr. James Burnes left this world on the feast of St. Matthew. Each Nov. 22, I am reminded that Father John Titus of Oklahoma City died on the day John F. Kennedy was assasinated.
Knock Out roses remind me of the Holly Springs Cemetery in Martin’s Mill, where Joanne rests in peace. Signs on the Gollob, Morgan, Petty building in Tyler has my former Holy Cross students attending the college there asking me about my brother, Michael David.
On each visit to St. Charles, Mo., an obligatory visit has to be made to the memorial of James Hugh Seamon, my brother-in-law, who loved to ride the DART trains while visiting Dallas because he was a pioneer supporter of MetroLink in St. Louis.
I am not certain, but I do believe that as we remember and pray for these holy souls, they support us with tons of love.
Father Timothy Gollob is the pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Oak Cliff.