Full is this season with events and happenings, starting with Halloween, All Saints, All Souls, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and the pre-Advent season. And we Ursulines add to the mix with the 475th Anniversary of the Founding of the Company of St. Ursula on November 25, 1535, from which all Ursuline groups have evolved.

In the spirit of All Saints, we are immersed in the communion of saints-those loved ones who have preceded us into eternal life before the face of God. They buttress our hope, building on hope’s source in the promises God has made over the ages and especially in the person of Jesus. His death and resurrection anchors our hope; our beloved dead strengthen it.

At All Saints we can recall loved ones, whether parents, children,siblings, friends, and others who have enriched our lives. At Thanksgiving we add a wholehearted response for all life’s blessings-and for them: Thank you, God, for your abundant kindness.

On the East Coast of the U.S., November features the decline of light; by late afternoon it’s dark. And the temperatures drop, as well. How these conditions make us appreciate the warmth and light of home, the bonds of friendship and family! Right now, the leaves that persist are multicolored, a brilliance to cheer our spirits. And the earth turns, life proceeds, and we find ourselves linked with the many others with whom in the past we’ve shared life and our present companions on the way. It is, indeed, as John Keats named autumn, the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,” that bends the apple trees and “fill[s] all fruit with ripeness to the core.”

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