Why do Catholics pray for the dead?

My non-Catholic neice made facebook post stating that she was glad that she didn’t need a priest to pray her way into heaven after her death. She believes in faith alone and that there’s nothing she could ever do in her lifetime to earn her way to heaven. I’ve been looking around for an answer so that I’ll have one if I’m asked that question personally. It looks like protestants won’t accept the Macabees answer because they don’t see that book as valid. I’m still learning and want to teach my children.

These links should be helpful for understanding the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings on the particular and final judgment and praying for the dead. If you have any further questions or concerns that are not answered by these links, please contact Catholic Answers directly.
**Recommended Reading:
**
[LIST]
*]Why do we pray for souls in purgatory?
*] If the souls in purgatory are destined for heaven, why do we pray for them?
*] He will come again to judge the living.
[/LIST]
These links should be helpful in understanding the Catholic position on sola fide, or salvation being by faith alone. If you have any further questions or concerns that are not answered by these links, please contact Catholic Answers directly.
Recommended Reading:

[LIST]
*]Salvation is “just believing in Jesus”…
*]Doesn’t the good thief prove sola fide?
*]Sola Fide before the Reformation?
*]Justification Sola Fide
*]Scriptural Apologetics (Radio program with John Martignoni)
*]It’s Not Over ‘til It’s Over
*]We Can Work It Out
*]God’s Will Is Our Work
*]Doesn’t John 3:16 clearly indicate that faith alone is necessary for salvation?
*]Does Isaiah 64:6 state that good works are useless?
[/LIST]

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.