The Day of the Dead (in Spanish, Dia de los Muertos) is a holiday celebrated throughout Latin America, and especially in Mexico where it is a public holiday. The holiday has a long history that predates Spanish colonization and is tied to Aztec festivals. When the Spanish colonized Mexico, this holiday was absorbed into Christian tradition and moved to October 31, November 1, and November 2 to line up with the Catholic festivals of All Saints' Eve, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day, which, like the Day of the Dead, are designed to honor those who have passed on. While All Saints' Day is for the purpose of honoring all the saints of the Catholic Church, both known and unknown, All Souls' Day and the Day of the Dead both are designed to honor all who have passed on from this world. Both of these holidays traditionally involve the veneration of family members who are no longer alive.

Day of the Dead traditions include the construction of private altars, known as ofrendas, to honor departed relatives, which are decorated with crosses, statues of the Virgin Mary, sugar skulls, muertos (the bread of the dead), marigolds, and pictures, foods and other items associated with the deceased. Families will also often visit and leave items to mark the graves of their relatives. By constructing these altars and visiting the graves, people hope to encourage the souls of those who have passed away to return and hear the thoughts and prayers their families direct towards them. While many assume the Day of the Dead to be a somber occasion, there are many opportunities for joy and humor as relatives recall good memories and funny stories associated with the departed. Talented writers may compose Calaveras (literally "skulls"), short poems to honor and remember anecdotes from the lives of those who have passed on.

While the Day of the Dead is perhaps the best-known in America, other cultures from Europe to Latin America to the Philippines have similar cultural celebrations tied to All Souls' Day to honor the dead.

For those interesting in learning more about the Day of the Dead, the National Museum of Mexican Art (located at 1852 W. 19th Street) hosts an annual Day of the Dead exhibit featuring the work of over 90 artists from both Mexico and the United States. This year's exhibit focuses on the "little angels" ritual and includes 13 ofrendas and runs through Sunday, December 13.  For more information, visit
International Night!
October 23, 5 - 7 pm 
at the St. Josaphat School

All parishioners are welcome!

Go on a round-the-world tour without leaving Southport Ave.!

Every classroom is a different country with faith, fun, and food!
Unity Award Nominations
The Unity Award is given to an individual or organization who reflects the ministry of St. Josaphat.

Nominees should be in area of the Archdiocese (Cook and Lake Counties), serving poor or underserved members of the community, and Catholic.  Send nominees to
Parish Service Award Nominations
We present St. Josaphat Parish Service Awards to parishioners who have been giving generous service through a parish ministry or volunteer activity in the areas of Youth Ministry, Human Concerns, Education, Parish Life, Prayer and Worship and Lifetime Service.