Mrs. Kandy Harkin is the Chaplain at St. Ignatius of Loyola Secondary School. The Chaplain is available to support and guide all members of the school community on their faith journey. In order to do this the Chaplain provides opportunities for prayer, sacraments and celebrations of the Eucharist, staff and student retreats, pastoral counselling, resource for student projects, prayer services and class discussion.
By calling forth the talents and gifts of students and staff, the Chaplain encourages a strong sense of Christian community in our school. Fostering both a sense of caring and of social justice, the Chaplain shares in what makes our school a special experience for all who are a part of St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary. Students are welcome to drop by the Chaplain’s office at any time.
December 3. First Sunday of Advent
December 6: Saint Nicholas
December 7. Saint Ambrose
December 8. Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
December 9. Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin
December 10: 2nd Sunday of Advent
December 11 Saint Damasus I
December 12. Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe
December 13: Saint Lucy
December 14. Saint John of the Cross
December 17 – 3rd Sunday of Advent
December 18. Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 21. Saint Peter Canisius
December 23. Saint John of Kanty.
December 24. 4th Sunday of Advent: Christmas Eve
December 25. Christmas
December 26. Feast Day of Saint Stephen
December 27. Holy Family
December 28. Holy Innocents
December 29. Saint Thomas Becket
December 31 – The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
The month of December is dedicated to the Immaculate conception, which is celebrated on December 8. The first 2 days of December fall during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time and are represented by the liturgical color green. The next 22 days fall during the liturgical season of Advent and are represented by the liturgical color purple. The remaining days of December mark the beginning of the Christmas season. The liturgical color changes to white or gold — a symbol of joy, purity and innocence.
The Holy Father’s Intentions for the Month of December 2017
The Elderly: That the elderly, sustained by families and Christian communities, may apply their wisdom and experience to spreading the faith and forming the new generations.
PRAY WITH ADVENT ART AT LOYOLA
Source: K. Harkin
One of the truest marks of a great teacher is the ability to bring out the best in students. A great teacher recognizes their students’ potential, and inspires them to produce great work.
St. Ignatius of Loyola’s art teacher, Ms. Tkalec, does this when she teaches art to our students. She has a strong enthusiasm for art, and enjoys teaching our community’s children. This past June, she was acknowledged and thanked by our School Board because one of her students, Doreen Zheng’s, image was chosen for the new Theological Theme posters.
In today’s educational landscape, it is sometimes easy to forget that the richness of human experience is made up of more than just the ability to absorb information. It also includes the ability to create and reflect.
Every fall, Mrs. Tkalec instructs her Grade 12 art classes to create images that reflect the beautiful liturgical Season of Advent. This year, Grade 12 students Olivia Hall and Carla Salas were selected to display their artwork in the Chapel, and to print their images on the school Christmas card.
Olivia Hall’s painting portrays the Star of Bethlehem, leading the three wise men to the baby Christ. Olivia created the image because, “it is important for us to remember that that the Christmas season is our guide to bring us closer to Christ; just as the star was a guide for the wise men.”
Carla Salas describes her painting as a, “typical depictions of Christ’s birth, with Jesus’ parents surrounding Him as a child and looking at him in love and joy.” But her painting also shows a different perspective; that of the angels. As protectors and messengers, the angels are incredibly important in these stories. ”When Jesus is born, the angels sing and proclaim the news, reflecting both God’s and our own, joy.”
Art is a powerful mechanism for the expression of thoughts, ideas, knowledge, and emotion, so we encourage anyone looking to pray with art during the Season of Advent to spend some time in our school Chapel.
The liturgical season of Advent marks the time of spiritual preparation by the faithful before Christmas.
Advent begins on Sunday, December 3rd.
Prepare for Christmas and deepen your experience of the Advent season this year with Loyola Artwork.
The Reason for the Season
Source: By F. K. Bartels
The month of December is filled with expectation and celebration. Preparation is the key word for the first 24 days of December. Everyone is getting ready for Christmas — shopping and decorating, baking and cleaning. Too often, however, we are so busy with the material preparations that we lose sight of the real reason for our activity.
Christmas is a Christian feast — and we must reclaim it as such! In the same way that a family eagerly prepares for a baby, so in Advent should we prepare for the coming of the Christ Child. We should keep Advent as a season of waiting and longing, of conversion and of hope and keep our thoughts on the incredible love and humility of our God in taking on the flesh of the Virgin Mary. Let us not forget to prepare a peaceful place in our hearts wherein our Savior may come to dwell.
The best person we can turn to for help during Advent is Mary, Christ’s and our Mother. She awaited the day of His birth with more eagerness than any other human being. Her preparation was complete in every respect. Let’s crown our preparation and borrow something of Mary’s prayerfulness, her purity and whole-hearted submission to God’s will.
Advent Family Prayer
Source: Loyola Press
During Advent, we not only prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but we also check in to see if we are doing all the things that will keep us ready to receive Jesus when he comes again. Talk to your family about how you are doing in attending to your spiritual life as a family. Recommit yourselves to praying daily, reading Scripture, and staying faithful to God’s commandments. Pray together that through this Advent season your family will be more prepared to receive Jesus when he comes again.
God of Love,
Your son, Jesus, is your greatest gift to us.
He is a sign of your love.
Help us walk in that love during the weeks of Advent,
As we wait and prepare for his coming.
We pray in the name of Jesus, our Savior.
Our Gospel for Christmas day is, of course, one of the most famous texts in the entire Bible: The Prologue to the Gospel of John. In many ways, it is the entire Gospel, indeed the entire Bible, in miniature. This scripture alludes to a feast day called “Christmas”, a name that has rarely been reflected upon, at least in my lifetime. The day is Christmas, because it signals Christ’s Mass. The only fitting way to celebrate is to go to the Mass!
GOSPEL: Luke 2:1-16
In the Roman empire censuses were taken every fourteen years for assessing taxation and ascertaining who were eligible for compulsory military service. Joseph and Mary traveled eighty miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem. This was a most inconvenient time and a physical ordeal for Mary since her baby was due any day now! And as luck would have it, Bethlehem was overcrowded. They had to settle for the most primitive of accommodations — an open stall for animals. Why would the Messiah have to be born in such pitiable conditions and in total obscurity? God’s ways are different from our ways. He, the Most Exalted One, condescends for the sake of the lowly and the oppress. The Lord descended not in pomp and majesty befitting a King, but in meekness and lowliness to show us the way of perfect love. The only room for Jesus was the cross he came to bear for our sins. In Jesus lowly birth we see the foreshadowing of the greatest sacrifice God would make for our sake when his only begotten Son willingly embraced death on the cross for our salvation.
Mary and Joseph were both from the line of David, King of Israel. Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem fulfilled the prophecy that the Messiah would descend from David and be born in David’s city, Bethlehem (Isaiah 9:6-7, 11:1-2; Micah 5:2-4). Why did the angels announce the birth of the new-born King of Israel to shepherds, rather than to the Jewish populace at large or to the leaders of Israel? God chose to come in lowliness to show his loving-kindness and power to those who were humble of heart and ready to receive him. Does the Lord find an eager welcome in your heart and home?
Why did the Word of God become flesh? In the Creed we profess that “For our sake and for our salvation he came down from heaven”. Augustine, the great 4th century bishop said: Closed in darkness, it was necessary to bring us the light; captives, we awaited a Savior; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator. Are these things minor or insignificant? Did they not move God to descend to human nature and visit it, since humanity was in so miserable and unhappy a state? Jesus is true God and true man. The Son of God assumed a human nature in order to accomplish our salvation in it. The Son of God …worked with human hands; he thought with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human heart he loved. Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made one of us, like to us in all things except sin (Gaudium et Spes).
What is the significance of the Incarnation for us? The Word became flesh for us in order to save us by reconciling us with God our Father. God loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins (1 John 4:10). The Father sent his Son as the Savior of the world (1 John 4:14). The Word appeared to take away sins (1 John 3:5). The Word became flesh that we might know and experience the love of God. God’s love was revealed to us in the way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him (1 John 4:9). For God so loved the world that he gave us his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
There is a great paradox in the mystery of the Incarnation, the Son of God taking on human flesh that we might be clothed in his divinity. Scripture says “he became poor that we might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9) — rich not in material things which pass away, but rich in the things that last — eternal life and happiness with the Triune God– Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Incarnation is the mystery of this marvelous exchange: “O marvelous exchange! Man’s Creator has become man, born of the Virgin. We have been made sharers in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share our humanity.” (Antiphon I of Evening Prayer for January 1st)
“Lord our God, with the birth of your Son, your glory breaks on the world. As we celebrate his first coming, give us a foretaste of the joy that you will grant us when the fullness of his glory has filled the earth.”