This year, 2021, our annual Global Christmas Celebration had a special vibe. There was a sense of genuine excitement for being part of such a unique and beautiful global event, and also gratefulness for the possibility of being virtually together, sharing joy and hope in this Christmas season.
From the start, participating teachers were very thorough, making sure all technical needs were met before the celebration. It was motivating to see the time they took to connect to perform technical checks in order to adjust audio and video performances, and even make decisions such as changing classrooms to get the best possible signal and best possible sound. Their commitment to put this celebration together was very inspiring and as the days for preparation went by, the excitement kept building up.
In light of the theme of this Ignatian year “To see All Things New in Christ”, participating teachers invited their students to prepare their answers to two reflection questions: How do we prepare in this world of turmoil today to welcome Christ amongst us?, and What would be one practical thing that you would do to prepare for the birth of Christ? During the first part of our virtual Christmas celebration, each school took turns to answer these questions but also to tell their peers a little bit about their school, where it is, about their city, anything they thought would be interesting for other students to learn about their school.
The result of this first part of the celebration left all of us with a deep sense of what the real meaning of Christmas is. Caring for our environment, and welcoming migrants were some of the many practical things offered to prepare for the birth of Christ.
I would like to engage myself in simple acts of love and joy by sharing small gifts, sweets and chocolates with the kids of the orphanage so that I can bring a smile to their faces” – St Aloysius Gonzaga School in Mangalore, India.
We will do a pilgrimage to the south of the city, where many immigrants are accommodated. We are going to listen to migrants who would like to testify and talk about their personal experiences, and have Mass around the Nativity Scene of the church”- Istituto Sociale, in Torino, Italy
Christmas is in its self a miracle and something we have to be grateful for. In the spirit of gratitude you could share a complement to your friend, make a meal for your family, anything to show gratitude” – Sacred Heart School in Cebu, Philippines
Offer comfort and hope to each other and small acts of kindness” – St Mary’s Hall in Lancashire, England
Open our hearts to reach out to the sick and share what I have with the less fortuned, also acknowledging Gods mercy by lifting each other up after this strange time, and taking steps that will heal the environment and inspire future generations to care for Gods marvelous creation” – Campion School in Mumbai, India
For us is Christmas when you smile, when one feels the presence of the other, and we sit around a table to be together in peace” – Jesuïtes Casp – Sagrat Cor de Jesús in Barcelona, Spain
We share Christmas with those who cannot spend at home. We bring Christmas cards for children suffering from cancer in a near by hospital” – KOSTKA Jesuit Public High School in Kraków, Poland
To give and show love and generosity to everyone. We have to emulate Christ loving and generous character so people know that he is the real meaning and must be celebrated this season” – Ateneo de Manila Grade School and High School in Quezon City, Philippines
After this first sharing moment, in the second part of the event, students took turns but this time to share their songs, prayers, poems, and their Christmas wishes for all Jesuit schools around the world.
There were some surprising performances because of their creative nature, for example, the students from Istituto Sociale in Torino, Italy, sang a Christmas song with ukuleles accompanied by hand-clapping and moving cups on a table, with an impressive rhythm and coordination. It was so exciting to watch!
Other schools’ performances were also breathtaking, we enjoyed beautiful singing from students from St Aloysius Gonzaga School in Mangalore, Sacred Heart School in Cebu, Ateneo de Manila Grade School and High School, and Jesuïtes Casp – Sagrat Cor de Jesús in Barcelona. Their beautiful voices got everyone dancing and singing along in the Connected Classroom.
We also had students sharing prayers and poems. Ateneo de Naga University Senior High School in Naga City, St Mary’s Hall in Lancashire, and Campion School in Mumbai gave us moments of deep gratitude and contemplation of God’s beautiful work.
Here is a short video clip of the Christmas wishes, songs, prayers, and poems shared by all Jesuit schools.
For all these reasons, this year’s annual Global Christmas Celebration had a special vibe. The heart-warming feeling we were left with afterward is priceless!
We would like to thank everyone who joined our Virtual Global Christmas Celebration 2021. Below we name each teacher and school. We are deeply grateful for the preparation work that teachers did with their students. All your performances were truly beautiful and uplifting, a real gift for Christmas!
We would also like to give a special thanks to Joel Falgui, English teacher from Ateneo de Manila in the Philippines, for his fabulous accompaniment during the student interactions. It was a great experience to co-host our annual Global Christmas Celebration with a teacher from our global community, and we would like to do more co-hosting like this for future Connected Classrooms. All teachers interested in co-hosting global Connected Classroom, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you! to:
- Clare and her students from St Mary’s Hall in Lancashire, England
- Mimoza and her students from Istituto Sociale in Torino, Italy
- Carmem and her students from Jesuïtes Casp – Sagrat Cor de Jesús in Barcelona, Spain
- Zofia and her students from KOSTKA Jesuit Public High School in Kraków, Poland
- Sunil and his students, from Campion School in Mumbai, India, who connected from their homes.
- Aparna and her students from St Aloysius Gonzaga School in Mangalore, India.
- Mary Joy and her students from Sacred Heart School, Cebu in the Philippines, who also connected from their homes.
- Alyza and her students from Ateneo de Naga University Senior High School in Naga City, in the Philippines, who also connected from their homes.
- Joel and his students. And Fr. Roe and Anton who connected from Ateneo de Manila Grade School and High School in Quezon City, in the Philippines, who also connected from their homes.
If you would like to watch the full Virtual Global Christmas Celebration 2021, please click here.