2017 ADVENT PRAYER AND REFLECTION AT LOYOLA
On Sunday December 3rd, a significant process begins: the start of the liturgical season of Advent. During this time, we reflect on the miracle of the first Christmas, as God underwent the process of taking on human form. The story of the birth of Christ reminds us that a great deal of preparation and labor goes into bringing about an event that is truly transformative. Advent reminds us of this necessity of work and preparation. The coming of the Christ Child is an event so important, that it requires a response from us before Christmas day. We need to work, in order to make ready our hearts and lives for the gift of Christ.
What are we doing during Advent at Loyola to prepare?
Sacrament of Reconciliation:
In this season of Advent, is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ, and the best way to prepare is to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Confessing our sins allows us to receive the necessary graces for living holier lives. Students will be given an opportunity to receive this Sacrament on Tuesday December 12th, from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Father Tim Hingston and Father David Avila will be available to hear confessions in the Chapel.
Advent Wreath Prayer Service:
The Advent wreath is a great teaching tool that reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas. An Advent Wreath Prayer service will take place every Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. in the school Chapel. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Our school community will gather for Advent Mass, on Tuesday December 5th at 10:00 a.m. in the school gymnasium. Father Tim Hingston will preside.
Weekly Advent Scripture Reflection for Students:
Interested students will gather in the school Chapel, every Thursday, during the second half of period 4, in order to listen and reflect on the Gospel reading of the day. At this time, students will also have an opportunity to share their thoughts about the daily Gospel message.
Good Shepherd Christmas Hamper Program:
St. Ignatius of Loyola Secondary is once again supporting the Good Shepherd Angel Tree Program through St. Matthew’s Parish. Every period one class will be assigned a teenager who is registered with the program. To ensure confidentiality, only the gender and age will be provided. We are focusing on teenagers, ages 10-16, because this age group always receives the least amount of donated gifts. Sadly, for this reason, many must go without. The reception of a Christmas gift not only means a great deal to these teens, but it also supports their parents, who otherwise might not be able to experience the joy of giving their children a gift at Christmas.
Best Buddies Advent Service and Activity
Every Thursday during Advent, the Best Buddies and their student helpers will gather in the chapel during period 3 to spend time in prayer. They will listen to the daily Scripture reading and sing an Advent song. They will also create an Advent craft in the gathering space in front of the Chapel.
Art for Charity
The Loyola art classes will use their creative talents to support the Good Shepherd’s Annual Christmas dinner, an event which will serve a Christmas meal to 3,000 individuals who are registered with their services. Mrs. Nunes’ art class will be creating four Christmas banners to be hung in the Good Shepherd dining area. As well, they will also be assembling 3000 bundles of cutlery and napkins with a decorative Christmas napkin ring. Our hope is that the decorations will help the guests to experience the joy of the season.
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.
Traditionally, interested students from Ms. Tkalec’s senior art classes, have created images that reflect the beautiful liturgical Season of Advent. This year, Grade 12 students Olivia Hall and Carla Salas will display their artwork in the Chapel, and 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.