October 25 – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Every year at this time, I get asked if it is OK for Catholic children to celebrate Halloween. I quote the following article “An Exorcists Perspective” from the website Catholic News Agency. Father Vincent Lampert is a Vatican-trained exorcist and a parish priest of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis who travels the country, speaking about his work as an exorcist and what people can do to protect themselves against the demonic. He said when deciding what to do about Halloween, it’s important for parents to remember the Christian origins of the holiday and to celebrate accordingly, rather than in a way that glorifies evil. “Ultimately I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the kids putting on a costume, dressing up as a cowboy or Cinderella, and going through the neighborhood and asking for candy; that’s all good clean fun,” Fr. Lampert said. Even a sheet with some holes cut in it as a ghost is fine, Fr. Lampert said. The danger lies in costumes that deliberately glorify evil and instill fear in people, or when people pretend to have special powers or dabble in magic and witchcraft, even if they think it’s just for entertainment. “In the book of Deuteronomy, in chapter 18, it talks about not trying to consult the spirits of the dead, not consulting those who dabble in magic and witchcraft and the like,” he said, “because it’s a violation of a Church commandment that people are putting other things ahead of their relationship with God.” “And that would be the danger of Halloween that somehow God is lost in all of this, the religious connotation is lost and then people end up glorifying evil.” It’s also important to remember that the devil and evil spirits do not actually have any additional authority on Halloween, Fr. Lampert said, and that it only seems that way. “It’s because of what people are doing, not because of what the devil is doing. Perhaps by the way they’re celebrating that day, they’re actually inviting more evil into our lives,” he said. One of the best things parents can do is to use Halloween as a teachable moment, Fr. Lampert said. “A lot of children are out celebrating Halloween, perhaps evil is being glorified, but we’re not really sitting around and talking about why certain practices are not conducive with our Catholic faith and our Catholic identity. I think using it as a teachable moment would be a great thing to do.”
So, I invite our parish children to “trunk or treat with the saints” at Our Lady of Mercy parking lot on Friday, October 30th from 6pm to 8pm. Registration is required on our website. Come, learn about the hero’s of the Church – none of them are scary or evil!!
I will be away on vacation October 27 through November 5 to Sonoma County, CA to celebrate the 75th birthday of my friend who lives in Santa Rosa.
Have a blessed week!