At Sacred Heart School in the Bronx each year, this day is celebrated as Hallowlujah—an even more fitting term this year than most. Because in the midst of life’s spookiness, our students and their teachers are determined to find both joy and holiness. Traditional Halloween activities may be curtailed elsewhere this year, but both in person and via Zoom, the celebration continues in Partnership Schools.
It takes leadership to pull off a good celebration—like this triumvirate of Firebenders at St. Mark’s Harlem (including principal Dominick Fanelli, center):
And Sacred Heart’s own first grade team, who are clearly good decision-makers:
Or Mount Carmel-Holy Rosary principal Molly Smith, who like her student knows that sometimes you just need to dress like Wednesday (Addams), even on a Friday:
If you know Sacred Heart’s veteran fourth grade teacher, Jill Murray (she’s the grooviest one below), you’ll know that joy isn’t just serious business on Hallowlujah Day. Walk into her class almost any day when they are studying the Middle Ages and you’ll find yourself in the presence of princesses, knights, and serfs.
And if you know Sacred Heart Kindergarten teacher Carmen Valenzuela, this outfit seems like the perfect expression of her everyday self:
Sometimes, though, you’ve just got to get Goofy*:
Or let your hair down:
Or let the fairies roam:
On Monday, our schools will return on All Souls Day, when we will pray in a special way for all those who have passed from this life recently, but who we know we remain in communion with. Seventh graders at Immaculate Conception in the Bronx already began preparing a prayer space:
Because more than anything, this trio of days—Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day or Día de Muertos—reminds us that no matter what, we are never alone. And far from spooky, that’s a really good thing.
*Correction: We misidentified the cartoon in this picture. While it’s still true that sometimes it helps to get goofy, this is clearly Scooby Doo.