In regard to November in our Catholic Church, we do intend to talk about the month of the holy souls in purgatory. The Jesuit scholastics of St. Joseph Scholasticate have spent those days in order to pray for the souls, especially the Vietnamese Jesuits and those who lived and served in Vietnam.
In November 05, 2017, by the way of the Autumn vacation in Da Lat city after the first school-year semester was ended, we took a visit to see two foreign Jesuits’ tombs. Fr. Jean Motte, SJ and Fr. Anton Drexel, SJ were Jesuit priests who served as professors at Pontifical College of St. Pius X. We spent some moments in silence at their graveside and then said our prayers together.
Afterward, in November 26, 2017, another visit of the Scholasticate community to Thien Binh cemetery was held. In fact, our visit has become the traditional activity for years and years. There were five Vietnamese Jesuits were buried in the final resting place. In spiraling-up incense-smoke, we said mass and prayers for their repose in God. This was also a time for us to experience our gratitude with the reverend fathers. To some extent, they laid a foundation for the Jesuit Vietnam province in the early years of the Society in Vietnam.
The visits in the churchyards are not only to see and pray for our ancestors but also to pray for ourselves. The tombs and death remind us how temporary and speedy our life is. And in order to fulfill the present life, we are asking for our ancestors’ intercession to God.
Minh Vuong, SJ.