Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
November 9, 2009
Departed peers remembered at Seniors All Souls Day service
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON - Residents from two Edmonton seniors' homes marked All Souls Day by remembering those who died in the last year. Some 40 residents of St. Joachim and St. Thomas Manor took part in a prayer service in remembrance of 18 of their peers who passed away in the past 18 months.
Paul Pelchat, the homes' manager, and Father Antoine Hudon led the 45-minute service Nov. 2 at St. Joachim's Manor, 11020-99 Ave. A similar service was held at St. Thomas Manor in the Bonnie Doon area the following day.
"On Nov. 2, the Church celebrates the communion of saints, intercedes for those who have died and prepares to welcome the one St. Francis called 'Sister Death,'" Pelchat said at the service.
"Today we pray for our brothers and sisters residents of St. Joachim and St. Thomas Manor."
The service was bilingual as many of the residents speak French. Of the 150 residents at St. Joachim, 35 per cent are French. At St. Thomas Manor there are 55 residents, all French.
Hudon, a retired priest, led the congregation in prayer asking the saints of God to come to the aid of the dead. "Come to meet them angels of the Lord," he said, to which the congregation replied, "Receive their souls and present them to God the Most High." Solemn hymns were played.
Later Pelchat paid tribute to each of the dead, drawing on some of their most notable traits and pointing to their pictures posted on a wall.
The list included Elsie Brown, who was remembered for her social skills and her passion for wool, Loreena Harrison, a proud Dutch who was supportive of all social activities, Aflreda Morin, who was known for her sense of humour and 100-year-old Lucille Moquin, who had amazing musical talent.
This is the first time the All Souls Day service was held in the homes but Pelchat said it will become an annual event.
"We need to remember the people we were with before and to gather, to see their pictures and to think about them," he said in an interview.
"I think it's wonderful," said Sister Madeleine Geiger of the prayer service. "It pays tribute to everyone who has lived here." Geiger, who has lived at St. Joachim for five years, knew most of the deceased.
"I'm very impressed with the service," said Madeleine Keroack, a St. Joachim resident for three years.
"We all like to be remembered."
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