John graduated from St. Dominic Savio HS in 1977, where he’d been nicknamed “Cecil” (as in Cecil B. DeMille) from his 1st days as a freshman. He embraced the name and, in fact, turned out to be a showman in his own right, a popular DJ who performed all over the East Boston and Revere area. He was one of 2 members of the class who were the glue binding them together into a unique brotherhood that remains to this day. I had the privilege of being their freshman dean and English teacher and am proud to be part of their continuing fraternity. So I was honored to be asked by his family to preside at his funeral. At least 17 of his classmates took part in his wake, funeral Mass, or both. Read more at From the Eastern Front, a Salesian community blog.
Here is something for you to read at the funeral:
I have a theologian friend who is doing some reflecting on Jesus’ sense of humor. He argues, quite correctly in my view, that Jesus would have had to have a sense of humor to get through the various stresses of his life, his ministry, and his passion.
This theologian is on to something important: if Jesus indeed had a sense of humor, then we who strive to imitate him should cultivate a sense of humor ourselves
John Di Mille always illustrated this aspect of imitating Christ. I remember well his sense of humor during our days at Savio. And he was always good-humored too.
To his wife, his sons, and my classmates, as well as to our class’s freshman dean Fr. Mike, deep sympathy and prayers. I am sorry I cannot be with you today, but I connect with you through the Communion of Saints. The phrase “Saint Cecil” will remind us that one day we will experience John’s humor and good humor again.
Fr. Tom Murphy, SJ
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