Tag Archives: academy of st elizabeth


Communion – the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.

This post is kinda personal. I don’t like to talk about religion. I believe everyone has a right to believe what they want. I was raised Catholic. I went to public school my whole life, but ended up at an all girls Catholic high school, The Academy of St Elizabeth, when I was 14. I went from knowing no one and having no friends, feeling lost and sad and angry, to meeting some of the most amazing girls (now women) that I will ever know. Some of my best friends to this day are girls that I met in my four years at this small and tight knit school. I am by no means a deeply “religious” person, but I am spiritual and I LOVE my St E’s girls.

One of the girls I met was Lauren. Lauren was younger than me, but we both played softball. Age didn’t really matter much once you crossed that sports line. Our teams were like family and we really genuinely cared about each other. Lauren was a hell of a pitcher too, so she had that going for her 😉

Fast forward years and years and years (not telling how many LOL) and Lauren reached out to me for family Christmas photos. When I met her 2 girls I immediately fell in love! They were little fire crackers! And seeing Lauren was like a sweet memory of being young again. Fast forward and it’s 2021 and her older daughter was making her Communion. I was lucky enough to be able to come and document the reception. Her family is pure and loving and genuine and real and sweet and I honestly feel like another one of the family when I am around them.

But one of my favorite memories of this day was Lauren’s Papa. He was the same age as my Grandma and had this twinkle in his eye. The love that poured out of him when he looked at his family was literally tangible. And I caught it that day. The way he looked at Lauren’s daughters, the way he looked at Lauren. I caught it. This is what I live for…

Lauren recently lost her Papa. I recently lost my Grandma. They were both in their late 90’s. So when I saw her share that he had passed away I immediately understood her sorrow. We were so lucky to have these strong and important people in our lives for so long. To have our kids know their Great Grandparents is such a gift. And while we understand how lucky we are, it is still such a deep loss. Maybe BECAUSE of all the time we had with them.

So when I write this and share pictures from Giuliana’s Communion, the definition of Communion holds so much more meaning. “The sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.” I’m sharing the communion of the day I captured with Lauren’s family. I am letting Lauren know that I love her and I am so grateful for her and for the honor to be able to capture these special moments in time for her and her family.

Lauren I am so sorry about your Papa. I met him ONE time that I can remember. Who knows, he may have been at some of our softball games! But he was special. I felt it. I saw it. And you were so lucky to have him in your life. XOXO

All the love to my SEAster, Lauren and her amazing family <3

Here are some photos from 2021. Next time I won’t be 2 years behind on blogging and will share pics from Olivia’s Communion soon!


joan marie

Scotch Plains, NJ 07076

908.312.1788 | info@joanmariephotography.com