Liv Roush-Krafka was born Nov. 2, 2021 while her paternal grandfather was celebrating All Souls Day Mass at St. Mary Church in Riverside.
Father Bill Roush received the good news via phone shortly after Mass ended. He couldn’t help thinking about the significance of the date. His wife, Cindy, passed away on All Souls Day in 1997 and Liv was their first grandchild. “There is a lot of sentiment this time of year,” he told The Catholic Messenger. “It tears at my heart and fills me with joy.”
Liv was born around the same time he and other members of Holy Family Parish were honoring loved ones through a cross-shaped memorial candle display. Liv’s paternal grandfather, Dan Krafka, was at the Mass honoring his own late wife.
Father Roush got the idea for the candle display a few years earlier while serving as parochial vicar of Divine Mercy Parish in Burlington. His son-in-law, Ryan Roush-Krafka, created an upward-facing wooden cross with a cavity in which to place sand. Parishioners could request a candle in memory of a loved one be placed in the sand and lit during the All Souls Day Mass.
The memorial display holds 150-200 candles and Father Roush gives each family a handmade, business card-sized wooden plaque with their loved one’s name engraved.
Father Roush said this Mass, and candle tradition, have become very popular in the Holy Family Parish community, the churches in Riverside, Richmond and Wellman.