Thursday, 4 November 2010

The Story of a Soul lost, found (and prayed for)

My son, Matthew, sent me a Birthday gift some two years ago, of Archbishop Fulton Sheen's book 'Thinking Life Through'.
It came via the excellent ABE Books network, from a US bookseller and its provenance (it was second hand) was that it originated from a Dominican High School library (City unknown but likely to be NYC).
Like all Fulton Sheen books, it is sound and makes for good reading; I dipped into it at regular intervals until, one day recently, my attention was taken by the old library checkout slip at the back. It carried the names and signatures of the borrowers as well as a list of the return dates but, within the actual library pocket, nestled an old In Memoriam card.
I examined it with a great deal of interest; it carried the name of one Alfred E Overton who died on 28 July 1950. May God have mercy on his soul.
Is it too whimsical to think that this was cry from the depths, asking for prayers to relieve the pains of Purgatory (where, it is said, one second appears as if it were 10 years). I think not. I have prayed for Alfred E Overton ever since and his card has a place in my missal. It took 60 years but  the message finally got through.


Please pray for the soul of Nancy Geraldine Aitken RIP
who died 4th November 1959

And God shall wipe all tears from their eyes

And death shall be no more.
Nor mourning or crying
Shall be any more.
For the former things are passed away.


  1. I really enjoyed reading this post. And now I, in my attempt to be more generous in prayer, will pray for Alfred too.

  2. Absolutely love Abp Sheen & all his writings..I have downloaded lots of his talks onto my I Phone so if I'm doing the housework or cycling etc I can get spiritual nourishment!

  3. Jackie, do you know about his CDs? Mainly retreats that he gave to priests. They are priceless and available from St Anthony's Communications I think.