Our focus in the month of December turns to Advent and the Christmas season. The word Advent means, “coming” or “arrival.” During the Advent season we joyously and prayerfully anticipate the celebration of Jesus’ first advent. It is used to describe the time before Christmas and signifies the coming of Jesus in Bethlehem and his present coming in the hearts of people. During the early settling of America, the celebration of Christmas was suppressed. In the 17th century, the Puritans not only banned the singing of carols, but outlawed hanging green boughs and mistletoe. This atmosphere continued for over a century. As German and other European immigrants came to America in the later 1700’s, they brought with them many of their Christmas traditions. Soon the observation of Christmas as a joyful holiday came back into popularity. For all Christians, Advent is a time to prepare for the coming of our Lord, a time for reflection and prayer as we wait in joyful hope. One of the most beautiful symbols of the Advent season is the traditional Advent wreath. The circular green wreath symbolizes God’s never ending love and grace. The candles, typically three purple and one rose, represent hope, peace, joy, and love. It is also a time for reaching out to others whose need is greater than our own. Each month students in a specific grade select a special mission project. They inform our other students about the project and lead the rest of the school in the collection of items or funds. They ensure the collected materials are sent to the selected mission. We will participate in several mission outreaches during this month. Our students learn to help those in need through our service to others.
Advent prayer services will be held in the church on the Wednesday, December 2nd at 2:30, on Friday December 11th at 2:30 in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and on Monday, December 14th at 2:30 grades K and 8 will present a Live Nativity.
We will have a noon dismissal on Wednesday, December 16th so our staff may attend faith formation in the afternoon.
Students from kindergarten through grade eight will present their talents at an Advent program on Sunday, December 13th at 3 pm in the church, and bell and piano students will also perform at this program. I extend my thanks to Mrs. Jennie Gervais and Ms. Carissa Jones for their hard work in preparing students for these performances. We invite you to share in the sounds of the season!
Our band students will present their talents at a band concert on Tuesday, December 15th at 6:30 pm. We partner with another parochial school, St. Anthony’s, for two concerts each year. Please support our band students by attending the concert!
Our students in grades 6-8 will be traveling to the Civic Center to see a performance of “The Nutcracker Ballet” on December 11th. Fourth grade students will travel to Dowling Catholic High School to watch “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” on December 4th. Our Bell and Chorus students will travel on Tuesday, December 8th to share their talents with our elderly in nursing homes.
Our mission project for the month of November was a Saint Nicholas collection and a collection of food items for St. Mary’s Shelter. You may continue to contribute to these missions during the first couple of weeks of December. As we move into the season of Advent, we are reminded of the great gifts we have received. This season, probably more than any other, moves us to acts of giving and charity. Our mission projects throughout the school year empower our students to learn to make a difference.
Classroom Christmas parties will be held on Friday, December 18th at 2:00.
St. Pius will host the 7th and 8th grade dance on Friday, December 4th from 7-9 pm. We will dismiss for the Christmas break at 3:00 on Friday, December 18th. Classes will resume on Monday, January 4th.
May your season of Advent and Christmas be merry and bright and filled with God’s grace and love as we “wait in joyful hope.”
Mrs. Phyllis J. Konchar