The Communion of Saints

Today is my (deceased) Dad’s 86th birthday. I’m going to Mass with my Mom and then out to eat to celebrate Dad’s life. I think of him often and have many dreams about him (he passed away nearly 10 years ago). I find great comfort in the Catholic understanding of the Communion of Saints and I feel my Dad’s presence in my life in an ongoing way.

I think that the Communion of Saints is a wonderful teaching to pass on to our students. We should ask them about loved ones who have passed away and, when leading prayer, mention that we will include them in our prayers, knowing that they are with us, that they can help us, and that we can help them.

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at


  1. Thank you for writing this Joe. What a wonderful way to teach the children about keeping our loved ones alive in our hearts. Your timing has special meaning to me as tomorrow is the one year anniversary of my mother’s passing.

  2. I find this belief in the Communion of the Saints very comforting and never morbid if understood correctly. We haven’t lost our loved ones. They are still with us, just in a different form. We can still communicate! I know I sometimes ask for my late mother to interceed for me. I know she is listening. I often feel her presence in my life. I think the best time to talk about this with our students is during the whole month of November. Beginning with all Saints Day and All Soul’s Day, we pray and remember those gone before us for the whole month.

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