Life Will Continue Beyond Us

Around the world today and in the coming weeks, people of many cultures will remember and celebrate those who have gone before them, honoring and giving thanks for the way in which the spirit of our predecessors continues to be present.

In the United States, we are accustomed to embracing Halloween day as a joyful opportunity to put on costumes, to play a bit with our fears, and to eat lots of candy!

This evening and tomorrow, those in the Catholic tradition celebrate All Saints Day, when we remember the positive attributes and examples of those who have gone before us. The following day, November 2, is All Souls Day, a feast day lifting up and celebrating all who have preceded us for the way in which they continue to inspire us and touch our lives even in their absence. In the Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead, the ongoing presence and spirit of our ancestors is affirmed. Though our predecessors are physically gone from us, we remember how they have touched our lives and continue to matter to us in the present.

While often celebratory in nature, there is something profound going on in these traditional activities and events. We face our own mortality and also recognize the ripple effect that human lives have on others, potentially for generations to come. We acknowledge our deep interconnection as a human family across time and space. These celebrations offer us a moment to pause and remember that those who have preceded us shaped our lives in ways known and seen, and in many other ways, perhaps unknown to us.

Our predecessors have not been perfect. They have had successes and failures, just as we do. There are many positive contributions they have made to us and to the broader world, and probably also some ways in which their actions have had a negative impact on us or on others. Yet we recognize them just the same and honor them for the good they did or sought to do, and perhaps even more, for the love that was manifest in and through them despite their frailties and shortcomings. We are challenged to live in such a way that our own lives reflect the best of what has been handed down to us, and, perhaps, also to grow a bit more merciful and understanding of the ways in which we human beings can at times fall short of our ideals.

As we move closer to the winter and the days grow shorter and colder, our tradition at DePaul is to honor and celebrate our loved ones who have passed away over the last year with the Annual Gathering of Remembrance. This interfaith memorial service will be held this year on Thursday, November 17th at 4:30 pm in Cortelyou Commons. The program has become an opportunity for our DePaul community to encircle all those who have experienced the loss of a loved one with loving support. Please join us!

Reflection by: Mark Laboe, Associate Vice President, Mission and Ministry

Participate in DePaul’s Annual Gathering of Remembrance:

The DePaul community is invited to join the Division of Mission and Ministry for our annual Gathering of Remembrance, an interfaith memorial service for all community members who have lost loved ones over the past year. This service in Cortelyou Commons (and broadcast over Zoom) on November 17 at 4:30 pm invites us to stand together in mutual support and solidarity with our colleagues as the calendar year draws to its close.

We invite the entire DePaul community to please submit the names of loved ones for remembrance by the end of Thursday, November 10th so that they can be included in the service. If you know of anyone who has lost a loved one over the last year, please share this announcement. We want to honor their memory. All are invited and encouraged to join us as we celebrate their memory and surround all those who have experienced loss with loving support.

Learn more and RSVP at: