Group prepares for All Souls’ Day

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 23, 1999

Parishioners from St. Mary Basilica will be rolling up their sleeves today to clean up Catholic Hill at the Natchez City Cemetery.

The clean-up is a preparation for the annual All Souls’ Day procession, said Sallie Ballard, who is spearheading the effort.

&uot;We hope to create some interest in the cemetery,&uot; she said. &uot;Maybe we can preserve some of the brick walls that are out there and take it on as a church project.&uot;

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Parishioners will be cleaning the headstones of the graves that are not under perpetual care.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, All Souls’ Day is the &uot;commemoration of all the faithful departed.&uot; It is celebrated by the Church on Nov. 2. The holy day is one on which believers offer prayers to assist souls in purgatory.

St. Mary will celebrate All Souls’ Day with its annual procession from the cemetery shelter to Catholic Hill at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31. &uot;We’ve been doing it for a very long time,&uot; she said. &uot;My grandmother did it, my mother did it.&uot;

Anyone interested in joining the clean-up effort can meet Ballard at 9 a.m. today at the cemetery. Bring rubber gloves, a brush and a bucket, Ballard said; cemetery Director Don Estes will provide the cleaning solution for the headstones.