- Jun 14, 2021
A Catholic high school in Georgia switched to online learning this week after about 50 students tested positive for the coronavirus, which they may have contracted at a Halloween party hosted by a student’s family, officials said.
About 1,500 pumpkins of varying sizes and colors have taken up residence on the grounds of Our Lady of Peace Church and School in south Minneapolis.
Halloween is an opportunity for Catholics “to express in every detail of our observance the beauty and depth of the feast of All Saints,” said Bishop David A. Konderla of Tulsa.
The number of Americans who claim to be witches has increased dramatically over the past 30 years.
Halloween in the United States may be all about candy and scary costumes, but for Italians the dead are no joke. Crux traces back to an ancient curse, buried beneath the walls and ruins of the Vatican in the crypt of St. Peter’s, where a series of unexpected deaths spooked popes and the entire city of Rome for centuries.
Many practices associated with Halloween have origins in the pre-Christian, or pagan, religion of the Celts, the original inhabitants of the British Isles, as well as parts of France and Spain. Because the Celtic harvest festival Samhain led into the cold, fruitless and dark days of winter, the feast was also an opportunity to contemplate death and to remember those who had gone before.
Father John McHale of Ireland says he never heard of evil spirits being around on Halloween night growing up, noting how the U.S. has influenced the holiday in Ireland. “What I did hear related to the souls of the family that needed prayer, because of the strong belief in purgatory and a belief in the power of indulgences to set them free from purgatory. You had that duty to make sure that you prayed for the souls of the dead on Nov. 2.”
Tonight is All Hallow’s Eve, and to enter it with a flashlight or a lantern as something or someone other than oneself is to take part in the oldest and probably best loved holiday in the world. Pumpkins decorate doorsteps. Webbing drapes doorways. For a brief, magical pause, things aren’t