El Dia de los Muertos

After discussing the idea with Bishop Joseph M. Siegel, Diocese of Evansville Director of Hispanic Ministries Bertha Melendres made this altar on the first floor of the Catholic Center for Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, which the U.S. Church celebrates Nov. 2 as All Souls Day. In an email to Catholic Center staff, Melendres explained the tradition, writing, “As you know, on Nov. 2 we Catholics celebrate All Souls Day; and in Mexico, we actually call it “el Dia de los Muertos” or Day of the Dead. Bishop Siegel has so graciously allowed me to make an altar on the First Floor, right by the stairway. I am inviting all of you to bring a framed picture of your loved ones whom you would like all of us to remember and pray for on this special day.” Melendres decorated the altar on Oct. 26, and staff members brought in the photos of loved ones that are shown on the altar. Melendres added, “Thank you all for celebrating with me this Mexican tradition, which so beautifully reminds us of our eternal connection with all those who have departed – just as the Church's teaching on the communion of the saints states. Through this celebration, we realize that we don't have to fear death because we will all have to experience it at some point; after all, it is a part of our human reality. We also realize that death has a sweet side, too, when we are in the presence of our Lord and surrounded by our loved ones in our eternal home.” On Nov. 2, Melendres provided some "Pan de Muerto," a special bread that is shared for this celebration.

The Message photo by Tim Lilley