Janet wrote:

Halloween is coming up and my kids are all excited about celebrating Halloween. However we are Catholic, and I would like to know whether my kids are able to celebrate Halloween and still call themselves good Catholics?

Mike Hayes replied:

"All together now."

Everyone replied:


Fr. Dave Dwyer replied:

"Now like anything else, the degree to which one invests in this ... It seems like the run up to and preparations for Halloween are beginning to exceed Christmas. They certainly exceed Easter. So, that would certainly be an opportunity with children to make sure they value the right things ... There should certainly be some important, let’s say catechesis, learning, and something that many people may not know ... the origins of Halloween are coming from somewhere close to home aren’t they Mike?”

Mike Hayes replied:

"The name Halloween means nothing by itself. It’s a contraction of All Hollow's Eve ... basically it means it’s the vigil of All Hallow's Day more commonly known as All Saints Day ... It is a holy day of obligation. The feast and the vigil have been celebrated since the early eighth century."

Fr. Dave Dwyer replied:

"Since the eight hundreds we’ve been celebrating All Saint’s Day and even the vigil which we call Halloween."

Mike Hayes replied:

"Ghosts and demons and things like that, dressing up actually have their roots in Catholic belief. Christians believe that at certain times of the year ... that the veil separating earth from purgatory, heaven and even hell becomes more thin. And the souls in purgatory, ghosts if you will, and demons can be more readily seen. Thus the tradition of Halloween costumes owes as much, if not more, to Christian belief as to Celtic tradition."


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Show air date: October 15, 2008

Name of show: #171

Guest comments by: Fr. Dave Dwyer, Mike Hayes

Question appeared in show: 6:15

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