'One Right Thing'

"Make the decision to do one right thing," Fr. Dan Cambra, MIC, encouraged an estimated 100 people in attendance at the Mercy for Souls Conference on Sunday, Sept. 29, at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass. In this case, "the right thing" is to pray the Rosary for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

"The decision to do one right thing might not cost us very much," Fr. Dan said. "But it could make a great difference in the lives of other people. I ask that you pray the Rosary daily in a very special way with a very special Rosary, the Rosary for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. A Rosary by the color of its beads reminds us that our prayers can take a soul from the bosom of Abraham to the glory of heaven."

"I appreciate the reminder that one right decision can lead to so much good," said Bonnie Franz, a member of the Holy Souls Sodality, a group of Marian Helpers who join with the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception to pray for the souls in Purgatory. "I haven't been doing an extra decade of the Rosary specifically for the Holy Souls, but I plan to do it now."

The third annual Mercy for Souls Conference was hosted by the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, for whom praying for the souls in purgatory has been a charism since the Congragation's founding more than 300 years ago. Father Dan was the principal celebrant and homilist for Holy Mass. Following Mass, he gave a talk titled "Praying the Holy Rosary for the Souls in Purgatory."

During his talk, Fr. Dan explained how to pray the Rosary using this particular rosary.

"This particular rosary is now given to us to pray for the poor souls to pass from darkness into light," Fr. Dan said. "When praying this particular rosary, we start with the black beads to remind us that the souls are trapped in darkness. The first decade is black, the second is dark grey, the third is medium grey, and the fourth is light grey, and the fifth is white. The white is to remind us that our prayers are constantly leading souls from darkness to light."

He said while it is not necessary to use the Holy Souls rosary beads, it may help in focusing our attention on the Holy Souls in need of our prayers.

Loretta D'Agnillo and her friends traveled from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, for the conference because they wanted to hear about this particular rosary.

"It was excellent information," she said. "I loved the stories he told of Blessed Joan, the mother of St. Dominic, and how St. Dominic set Europe on fire with love for God using the Rosary. I teach at five different schools. I plan to bring these stories back to my classes when I talk about the Rosary during the month of October. I will teach them about the Holy Souls Rosary in November."

In both his homily and talk, Fr. Dan reminded those in attendance that the souls in purgatory are unable to pray for themselves. Therefore, they rely on us, the "Church militant," to lead them to heaven. He called for us to pray for loved ones as well as for people we have never met.

"What little we do for these souls might be more than enough for them to pass into heaven," Fr. Dan said. "And once there, who would they feel more responsible to? You and I, who prayed for them. They will intercede for us."

Conference attendee Sherry Zimmerman said she knows firsthand that the souls will intercede for us. "We have a large farm in Arizona, and we were suffering a terrible drought," she said. "I have been praying for the Holy Souls all my life, but until then I had never asked them to intercede on my behalf. So I asked for rain, and we were almost flooded we got so much rain."

During his talk, Fr. Dan also encouraged Sodality members to tell others about purgatory and the souls' need for prayers. To help spread this message, Fr. Dan suggested a new documentary-style DVD titled Purgatory: The Forgotten Church.

"It is not your typical religious DVD," he said. "It is a direct, profound presentation of the theology and experience people have had with the souls in purgatory. I have a special place in my heart for this DVD. In the closing 10 or 15 minutes of the documentary, it goes into the theology and experience of St. Faustina. It is a wonderful presentation on her.

"I want everyone here to think about presenting the whole theology of purgatory to those who might not be too receptive to the idea of purgatory," he added. "I think these are two important tools, this Holy Souls Rosary and this DVD.

"Mary is known as the Star of the Sea. This title is a significant one because we can also be a Star of the Sea, a guiding light for others. We have the opportunity to share with them about purgatory. We are beacons of light. We are warriors of prayer."

We invite you to view Fr. Dan's homily:

To learn more about the Holy Souls Sodality, please visit PrayForSouls.org.


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