POST POLL: Should Halloween scare us as Catholics?

The “Post Poll” regularly gives readers of The Catholic Post and its online version a chance to share thoughts on topics of Catholic interest. With Halloween approaching, our current poll asks: “Should Halloween scare us as Catholics?”

Respondents are also encouraged to share further thoughts, including: What, if anything, concerns you most about this time of year?; Do you have a favorite Halloween memory?; For parents, what limits or safeguards do you set for your children?; and How do you keep a Catholic focus on the fun?

Send your thoughts to cathpost@cdop.org, putting “Post Poll” in the subject line. Responses will be posted here as they are received, and may be printed in a future issue of The Catholic Post.

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Responses:

Halloween in our times has become a scary event, filled with ghosts, goblins, witches, and bad “stuff.” But we Catholics have such a rich tradition in celebrating the two days following that pagan celebration — All Saints and All Souls days, and that really makes this time of year special to all of us.
However, I do cherish the memories of cold, crisp weather as I went Trick or Treating for popcorn balls and other treats. That was back in the 1940’s and 50’s for me — a great and safe time for dressing up in costume and walking with family and friends to the neighbor’s houses. This year in Havana, we have some wonderful adults planning “Trunk or Treats” at St. Patrick’s. The kids dress in Halloween “finery,” are judged for awards, and all get to receive treats from the cars of parishoners parked near the church. They started this new “tradition” last year, and it was well-received. — Fr. Dick Brunskill, pastor, St. Patrick’s Parish, Havana, and Immaculate Conception, Manito

No, Halloween shouldn’t scare Catholics. Halloween is simply a contration of “All Hallows Eve” and is one of the last cultural celebrations connected with Catholic beliefs and practices that we have in America. Much of what we do to celebrate Halloween comes from transplanted European Catholicism; the Irish remembering the damned on Oct. 31, the French Dance Macabre, where they dressed up as the dead, and the old English tradition of going from house to house begging for “soul cakes” on All Souls Day. Many of these traditions have come together in America in what we know of as Halloween.
Halloween is meant to be fun. Parents shouldn’t deprive their children of the excitement and the anticipation of the night because of the myths about Halloween being evil. — Father Scott Archer, pastor, St. John the Baptist Parish, Fairbury

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