Advent wreaths adorn classrooms, offices and even the windows of the Ludlow Street entrance outside the Welcome Center as an outward sign of hope, peace, joy and love.
These signs are ever-present; not just within the hallways, but also in the hearts and actions of those at CJ. And in the days ahead, a myriad of events and activities will help reflect the light of this sentiment on all who partake.
On Monday, Dec. 8, we gathered to celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception during a morning all-school Mass at Emmanuel Church. This day recognizes God's special choosing of Mary as mother to his Son, Jesus Christ.
Each school day leading up to Christmas Break (Dec. 19 to Jan. 2), members of FLIGHT are reciting a special Advent prayer. Following prayer, students are encouraged to complete a new "challenge" each day such as, "Shop for a gift to put under the Giving Tree." All challenges are displayed on paper ornaments hanging from the bulletin board outside the office ministry and service (pictured right).
In all religion classes, students celebrated special Masses in the CJ chapel, located on the first floor of Marianist Hall. There, Adoration and Confession is also offered to all students during Friday homeroom periods.
"Most [religion] teachers have students journal about their goals for making Advent a time of spiritual growth," according to Tim Dillon, department chair. "We introduce them to a Web site (www.bustedhalo.com) that provides an Advent calendar with a quote and daily challenge."
Eagles Go A-Caroling, and More!
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, too. Everywhere you go, CJ students, faculty and staff on campus seem to either be giving or receiving the gift of holiday spirit.
On Wednesday, the seniors of FLIGHT will sing Christmas carols for residents of the Sanctuary of Wilmington Place, an area nursing home. Students enrolled in American Sign Language (ASL) also plan to go a-caroling Friday, Dec. 12 for staff members in the guidance office and Welcome Center. The ASL students silently perform holiday favorites with their hands.
For the benefit of those in need, CJ's language arts department hosted its annual holiday bake sale for families supported through Hispanic Catholic Ministries (Dayton). Proceeds go toward the purchase of gifts and grocery store gift cards.
And once again, the faculty and staff organized its own "Holiday Help-a-Family" gift-giving drive. Gifts donated by CJ employees go to two families identified by Catholic Social Services.