Sunday, October 29, 2017

Day of the Dead

Ah, the day of the's is on Halloween right?

But oh how much fun it is to see the ideology of the Day of the Dead - that really almost pleasant outlook on death and life and the combination and celebration of both.

The spiritual idea that Halloween is a sort of "thinning of the veil" between earth and the spiritual realms we know, is not a new one. Which is probably why the idea of death haunts us so much: the idea of  the dead coming back is obviously not one that sits well with a lot of people. That's why we have so many zombie movies and shows. I'm looking at you, Walking Dead.

I once went to a funeral where a mother had died, and his son had told us specifically that he didn't want her funeral reception to be mournful. He wasn't canonizing her, but he was very clear that he wanted her life celebrated. And it was a party - because he loved her, and we loved him.

It was a really cool experience that I think everyone should have: the ability to celebrate someone because they were. Yes, we were sad that she was gone, but we were happy that she was here. In the same way, I love the idea of the Day of the Dead - not even so much a celebration of death, but a celebration of having lived. The ability to keep one's memory alive even after they are gone - to keep them close to us, almost to the point that we are still keeping them alive.

Much love, and have a happy Halloween!
Ceci Galvin
CYM, St. John the Evangelist

Sunday, October 22, 2017


Many thanks to the helpers and teens who are currently attending Rally 2017! Many prayers for a safe and timely journey to and from Bishop O'Connell High School!

I think the term "Rally" is so apt. Honestly, what better way to show what we do the start of this new season than to rally together as a team - as a community - and celebrate the things that bring us together? To celebrate life, love, God, and one another through such a beautiful day!

There seems to be a hard line that we draw between the sackcloth and ashes type of faith, and the celebratory type. It's easy to fall into too much of one or the other, but days like today give us a little of everything. Fun and games, sure. But also sacrifice and learning. We heard wonderful talks by wonderful people who want nothing more than for us to better ourselves. We had volunteers driving us to and fro. We had a long car drive and we had a Mass with the Bishop (which, depending on just how much you're crazy about the Mass, can be a blessing or a curse...though...come on,'s a massive blessing). There was a lot going on for everyone!

But what do we remember? That we rallied. That we had an awesome time. That we heard a wonderful message and that performers got up and gave their all for us. And while it's important for us to remember our prayerful and sacrificial lives of servant-hood and servitude, don't forget to rejoice as well. Don't forget to rally.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

It Can't Happen to Us

One of my students calls this week "Pimp Week" thanks to the video we get to watch around this time every year. Every time she says it, we laugh. It's funny sounding. I always try to smile despite the fact that this kind of thing is an unbelievably travesty that occurs all the time. Because, if I don't smile, I'll cry.

I think we tend to forget that this is something that goes on. You know how it's become a sort of cop-out line to hear in movies when people say, "This kind of thing happens to other people"? I think it's become a sort of cliche because, on some level, we all know it's true. I'm sure we've said it to ourselves. Or, when we hear it, we relate. We relate enough times that it becomes mundane to relate.

But, on another level, it is the kind of thing that most of us would never think would happen to us. And we joke, and we make funny names for it because it feels awkward and unnecessary. But maybe even if it doesn't happen to happens.

It's tragic and senseless and awful. And maybe it doesn't happen to us. But it happens.

Don't let it happen to us. And don't let it happen to one another.

"The path of the upright leads away from misfortune;
those who attend to their way guard their lives."
~ Proverbs 16:17

Much love!
Ceci Galvin
CYM, St. John the Evangelist