Honoring Those Who Have Shaped Us

“I embrace your heart and your family with all the tenderness of my heart.” — St. Vincent de Paul

Vincent de Paul wrote this line to Louis Dupont in 1659. The quote is unique in that Vincent does not express kindness solely to Louis, but extends it to his family as well. For most people we encounter, we act as the bridge between them, our family, and our friends. To know those closest to us is to know our greatest support systems, and to encounter our friends and family is to gain insight into how we became the people we are today.

In our world today, what are some ways we can be intentional in honoring our relationships with those closest to us?

Every culture, person, community, etc. may have a different answer. With the end of October quickly approaching, one example can be found in Dia de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead.” No, not Halloween, or even a sad holiday. This is a celebration existing in different forms throughout Latin America, and is a time when the relationships we hold closest to our hearts are remembered. Typically, for Dia de los Muertos, a colorful ofrenda (or “altar”) is made by family and or friends to honor their departed loved ones. This ofrenda is set up on October 31 and remains until November 2, All Souls Day. This year around the university, you may wish to contribute names or photos of any loved ones to community ofrendas. They will be everywhere, from the residence halls to the 11th floor of the DePaul Center. (If you have questions or want to get involved contact Tepeyac, the student organization, at depaul.tepeyac@gmail.com)

An ofrenda is just one way to express kindness and honor to those who played a role in shaping us. Take some time to reflect on what makes the most sense for you.

What actions make you feel closest to your family or friends, both those on this earth, and those who have passed away?

Reflection by:

Joshua Smyser-DeLeon, Assistant Director, Alumni Relations

DePaul’s annual Gathering of Remembrance event will be held this year on Thursday, November 14th, at 4:30 p.m. in Cortelyou Commons, Lincoln Park Campus. Should you have names of loved ones you would like to be remembered, and/or if you would like to RSVP to attend the event, more information can be found here: http://events.depaul.edu/event/depaul_gathering_of_remembrance#.XbBf3mZOm70