On Wednesday, December 4th, Educate Magis facilitated two Virtual Global Christmas Connections using Connected Classrooms for the third year in a row. As in previous years, we facilitated one session at 9am GMT and one at 4pm GMT to allow schools from a range of different time-zones to participate.
In both sessions, students presented their schools, shared a Christmas song/poem/prayer/story and finally shared a Christmas wish for all Jesuit schools around the world. The students prayed for peace, for courage, for hope, for the environment and for other very important and poignant topics, they sang beautiful songs and shared thoughtful and heart-warming wishes with us all.
We would like to share some of the highlights of these wonderful Global Christmas Connections.
In the first session, we were joined by:
- St. Mary’s Hall, Stonyhurst, (Lancashire, UK)
- Jesuites Casp – Sagrat Cor de Jesús (Barcelona, Spain)
- Jesuites Gracia – Collegi Kostka (Barcelona, Spain)
- Colegio Santa Maria del Mar (A Coruña, Spain)
- Nuestra Señora de Montesión (Palma de Mallora, Spain)
- St. Mary’s I.C.S.E (Mumbai, India)
The students from St. Mary’s in Mumbai sang Happy Birthday Jesus and shared “the true meaning of Christmas is sharing, giving, loving and spreading peace and happiness as we celebrate the life of Jesus”, reminding us that Christmas is “tenderness for the past, courage for the present and hope for the future”. The students from St. Mary’s Hall in the UK prayed that God help them to do as much as they can to care for our planet and protect their relationships with Europe and the rest of the world. They told us about the origins of “We wish you a Merry Christmas” and sang a beautiful version of the song with all 3 verses. The students from Nuestra Señora de Montesión in Palma de Mallorca sang a wonderful and fun Christmas song to which everyone was dancing along and half-way through were joined by more classmates who danced their way into the picture and made us all laugh. Jesuites Casp in Barcelona shared a very powerful poem on the importance of caring for our environment “the forest is dying because we cut the trees, the ocean is crying because we took the fish… this Christmas will be different because we promise we will look after the environment around us so that the earth doesn’t die”. At the end, the students wished us an eco-friendly Christmas and a greener Happy New Year and reminded us to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The students in Colegio Santa Maria del Mar, A Coruña took turns sharing Spanish Christmas foods and traditions with us, including the tradition of eating 12 grapes on the 12 strokes of midnight on New Year’s Eve, each grape representing one month of the new year. They also shared with us that the 3 wise men bring gifts to adults and children on January 6th and sang us a Christmas song. Jesuites Gracia sang a beautiful rendition of Silent Night in Catalan, Spanish and English. They had not only a beautiful choir but also a wonderful piano player! Watch these and other highlights here.
In the second session, we were joined by:
- Colegio Berchmans (Cali, Colombia)
- Unidad Educativa Javier (Guayaquil, Ecuador)
- Unidad Educativa San Luis Gonzaga (Quito, Ecuador)
- BC High (Boston, USA)
- Colégio Anchieta (Porto Alegre, Brazil)
The students from Colegio Berchmans in Colombia prayed for peace in Colombia and the world, a particularly significant prayer as they were unsure whether they would be able to join this connection due to national protests in their country. They sang a song asking for peace and shared a group letter they had written to indigenous people, acknowledging their suffering and apologizing for the hurt they were going through, sending their support from their hearts and souls through prayers. The students in BC High prayed for those in poverty, those who are homeless and lonely and prayed that “those who are hungry are filled both physically and spiritually”. They also prayed for all of us that we can “remember to seek spiritual rather than material gifts this Christmas” and wished that “we can all continue to learn and grow by paying attention to each other and caring for each other”. The students in San Luis Gonzaga in Ecuador prayed that the best gift we receive this Christmas is shared time with family and loved ones. One student offered a prayer of gratitude for the blessings instilled on her life. Another student prayed for good health for us all and they finished praying the ‘Our Father’ together. They also wished that Jesuit schools continue striving for social justice. The students in Unidad Educativa Javier, in another part of Ecuador, prayed for the homeless, in their hour of need and asked that their prayers be turned into positive actions. They also wished for “a world where we value human life and dignity” and “a world without religious conflict”. The students in Colégio Anchieta, together with their teachers, sang ‘Feliz Navidad’ and between each chorus, shared powerful prayers, amongst others, a prayer that “we may have an open heart to welcome others in their diversity, without discrimination” and that those who are marginalized may “find solidarity and hospitality from all of us”. Watch these and other highlights here.
We were delighted to bring together some of the schools of our network through Connected Classrooms to share and listen to each other and are happy to be able to share a part of this experience with all Jesuit schools around the world. We invite you to share these videos with your colleagues and students and to share your Christmas wishes and hopes for the new year with your colleagues across the globe in the comments below 😊
Merry Christmas to all – may it be filled with Peace, Love, Hope and Joy and may we strive to take care of each other and of our common home!