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Michael wrote:

Hi, guys —

I learned that my best childhood friend recently took his own life. He was cremated and a Memorial Mass was held for him in a Catholic Church.

  • Is it okay that I submitted his name for the All Soul's Day Mass celebration?


  { Is it all right that I submitted the name, of a friend who took his life, for the All Soul's Day Mass? }

Paul replied:

Dear Michael,

My condolences on your friend. What you did was fine.

Neither we, nor the Church, as a whole, can judge exactly where souls go after death, even for suicide victims. That judgment is only God's domain. If a suicide victim performs the act with a clear mind, out of malice, it is difficult to see how they have not rejected God and His good gift of life. However, the mental state at the time might cloud the mind or coerce the will beyond making a free and deliberate decision, lessening or eradicating potential culpability.

The bottom line is only God knows their internal state at the time and their level of culpability.

What you did was commendable!



Mike replied:

Dear Michael,

Just to clarify Paul's good answer a bit, he said:
Neither we, nor the Church, as a whole, can judge exactly where souls go after death, even for suicide victims.

He correct that we cannot judge but the Catechism tells us where they go or what happens:

I. The Particular Judgment.

1021 Death puts an end to human life as the time open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ. (cf. 2 Timothy 1:9-10) The New Testament speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming, but also repeatedly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death in accordance with his works and faith. The parable of the poor man Lazarus and the words of Christ on the cross to the good thief, as well as other New Testament texts speak of a final destiny of the soul — a destiny which can be different for some and for others. (cf. Luke 16:22; 23:43; Matthew 16:26; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; Hebrews 9:27; 12:23)

1022 Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of Heaven-through a purification or immediately — or immediate and everlasting damnation. (cf. Council of Lyons II (1274):DS 857-858; Council of Florence (1439):DS 1304- 1306; Council of Trent (1563):DS 1820; Pope Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336):DS 1000-1002; John XXII, Ne super his (1334):DS 990)

At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love. (St. John of the Cross, Dichos 64)

As Paul implied, no one can judge another person's Particular Judgment. That judgment is between the Lord and the person who took his own life.

I agree with Paul, that what you did was commendable. You can do even more for him and others, if you want, by praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Souls in Purgatory are blessed souls that have been saved by the blood of the Lamb but have not been completely purified.

Souls in Purgatory (as in Heaven) are souls that are very much alive in Christ. They (Souls in Purgatory) can pray for us but they cannot pray for their own purification.

This is where we can help.

Start a Purgatory Prayer Program on a monthly basis in your area. I can send you a Free Kit from my other Apostolate: Helpers of the Holy Souls, GET YOURS TODAY!

Hope this helps,


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