Remembering Xavia: Honoring her memory by living lives of peace


The John Carroll Class of 2014 gathered this morning to remember their friend and classmate Xavia Pirozzi on this second anniversary of her death. It is hard to believe that two years have gone by so quickly since that day in 2012 where our school community gathered for Mass in the John Carroll gym for Xavia’s intention and then prayed all day in the Chapel before the Blessed Sacrament with Religion classes. We believe that we prayed Xavia straight into Heaven as she passed on to Eternal Life late that afternoon.

Her classmates have kept Xavia’s memory alive over the past two years during important class activities, including Ring Mass last year where a scrapbook including notes and memories from our Junior Retreats was presented to her family, as well as the one year anniversary of her death when another special prayer service was held in her memory.

During the full-class Senior Retreat two weeks ago at Sandy Cove, Xavia’s closest friends spoke on the life lessons they learned from her and their friendship.


Class of 2014 Senior Retreat at Sandy Cove

(Photo by Patti Murphy Dohn)

Xavia’s death left a huge void in the Class of 2014 and we are committed to keep her memory alive in the heart of John Carroll for the years to come.

“Imagine” sung by Bella Voce:

Senior Class President Karly Horn asked that her classmates reflect on and appreciate the gift of life and honor Xavia’s memory by living lives of peace, especially in their families and with their relationships.  (VIDEO by Patti Murphy Dohn)

The John Carroll Senior Class gathered to remember Xavia Pirozzi on the second anniversary of her death.

(Photo by William Du ’14)


Tearful prayers:

This morning’s opening prayer included the reflection below from “Praying Through Grief: Healing Prayer Services for Those who Mourn” by Mauryeen O’Brien, OP (Ave Maria Press, 1997). It centers on the notion that it is through struggle that new life can occur:


Life Can Be Beautiful:


For every tear we shed, we will laugh;

For every sadness we are burdened with, we come to know the value of each joy;

For every loss we endure, we will be further enriched with His peace.

For every moment we doubt His existence, He will give us an hour, a day, a season to see and feel that He truly does exist.

He is there for us and has always been.

From the beginning of His time, spring always follows the winter.

After the sorrow of our tears, there must follow the daffodils of new life.”

–Adapted from “The Sycamore Retreat,” Mortal on the Mend, Vincent Marquis, Wallington, CT:



You can read about the health journey that brought Xavia to a new heart with her 2007 transplant here.  

The story of Xavia’s subsequent death five years later from lymphoma and the March 26, 2012 Mass of Christian Burial at St. Joseph Church in Fullerton “John Carroll sophomore remembered as saintly” is found here

Included is a poignant 27-photo slideshow from Tom McCarthy, Jr. of The Catholic Review.

Rest in peace, sweet Xavia. Amen.

(Prayer card designed by Xavia’s friend Carley Bynion ’14)

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.