On Thursday, December 6th, the Feast of St. Nicholas, we at Educate Magis facilitated two Virtual Global Christmas Wishes using Connected Classrooms. We held one at 9am GMT and one at 4pm GMT to allow schools from different time zones to connect. In both sessions, students shared stories of generosity which they had experienced in their school communities throughout the year. After listening to these heart-warming stories, each school shared their Christmas wishes for the global network of Jesuit schools, each in their own wonderfully unique way.
In the first session we were joined by
- Coláíste Iognáid in Galway, Ireland
- Kostka Public High School in Krakow, Poland
- St. Mary’s Hall in Lancashire, UK
- St. Xavier’s, Godavari, Nepal
On this live video connection, after each school shared their stories of generosity, we listened to Christmas wishes from everyone. The students from St. Mary’s Hall showed us some beautiful pictures and read out the Christmas wishes they had drawn out for schools around the world. They wished us all joy, love and peace. One of the students from St. Mary’s Hall asked St. Xavier’s Godavari how many languages are spoken in Nepal. One of the students in Nepal replied that their main language is Nepali but that there are 123 langagues. They shared a sentence in Nepali so we all had a chance to hear what it sounds like. Next, Coláiste Iognáid in Ireland read out their Christmas wish in Irish, their native language and then translated it into English – a message of peace and joy and the wish for all to stay safe, happy and healthy. They finished by singing Jingle Bells in Irish. We then moved on to Kostka in Poland who told us they were celebrating St. Nicholas day and wished everyone a nice Chritsmas with their families, nice community and a nice atmosphere before teaching us how to say Happy Christmas in Polish. The students in St. Xavier’s in Nepal reminded us that Christmas is a time of generosity and giving back and wished everyone happiness, family time and love and a happy new year with even more success in our studies and professional lives. We finished up with a song by the students in St. Mary’s Hall – ‘Children of the Light’. A beautiful finish to a wonderful virtual gathering. See video here
And in the second session we were joined by
- Centre Scolaire Saint-Michel in Brussels, Belgium
- Colegio Berchmans in Cali, Colombia
- Colégio Dos Jesuitas in Juiz de Fora, Brazil
- Colegio Gonzaga in Maracaibo, Venezuela
- Fairfield Prep in Connecticut, US
- Fordham Prep in The Bronx in NY, US
- Instituto Lux in León, Mexico
- St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, US
On the second live video connection, we also began with each school sharing their stories of generosity and heard some wonderful experiences of how students had received and shown generosity. We then moved on to the Christmas wishes. We started with Instituto Lux in Mexico who reminded us that we have so much to be grateful for and despite the distances and differences between us we are still united as one. They wished that we enjoy each moment in life, enjoy time with family and friends and remain in good health. Next we heard the Christmas wishes from Gonzaga School in Venezuela who had a beautiful backdrop of the Manger. The students of Gonzaga started by saying “hello friends” and reminded us that hope makes all things possible, love makes all things beautiful and wished that we all have hope and love in our lives. The students of Fordham Prep in the US then shared their Christmas wish in the form of a prayer where they expressed their gratitude for their Jesuit education, praying that “we may be able to take advantage of this education, enabling us to connect to the larger Jesuit network and take the principles we learn to aid those who may need it”. Next we moved over to Europe to Centre Scolaire in Belgium where it was already after 5pm.
Here the students showed us two Belgian sheep who came to share their message which the students had drawn onto coloured paper. They shared a couple of beautiful wishes, one of which was that the God of Hope fill us all with joy and peace as we trust in Him so that we overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. The students at Colégio Dos Jesuitas then took turns sharing their wishes with us and wished us happiness not only for Christmas but for every day of the year. After the students shared their wishes in twos and threes, the younger students who had been sitting on the floor at the front stood up and sang a beautiful version of “We Wish you a Merry Christmas”. Next, the students at Fairfield Prep shared that they would like to focus on community over the holiday season and on being effective within their community but would also like to reach out to their Jesuit brothers and sisters around the world to learn more about our cultural differences and how these may contribute to our faith. The students in Berchmanns College in Colombia took turns sharing their wishes, amongst them, a wish to be united with love so that we can help our people and nations to grow and transform with dignity. We finished with St. Peter’s Prep who sang a wonderful rendition of Feliz Navidad, accompanied by guitar and to which many of the students in other schools sang, swayed and clapped along. Another beautiful finish to this special connection bringing together students from across the globe. See video here
We were delighted to bring together some of the schools of our network through Connected Classrooms to share and listen to eachother and are happy to be able to share a snippet 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 here!
We invite you to let us know if you would like to participate in future global events like this one with your students by commenting below. Merry Christmas to all – may it be filled with Peace, Love, Hope and Joy!