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With the season of Advent arriving, daily Confessions and the Adopt-A-Family Drive have begun

The four weeks leading up to Christmas are among the most stressful times for students. But within the Catholic Church, these four weeks, Advent, are intended to be a time of meditation and reflection. St. Louis U. High’s campus ministry team is working on helping students to embrace the time of Advent even amidst their stressful schedules. 

Art: Will Blaisdell.

First, Campus Ministry is returning with three notable Advent events from years past: the all-school Mass of the Immaculate Conception next week, confession during theology classes, and the Adopt-A-Family Drive. 

“It is going really well,” said Fr. Matthew Stewart, SJ of the Adopt-A-Family Drive. “It is exciting to be able to donate to families who are struggling around the holidays.”

In addition to these larger celebrations of the Advent season, students and faculty will also be reminded of the start of the new liturgical year by the wreaths and banners scattered around the chapel, main office, and elsewhere on campus. Students can also expect their morning prayer services and morning prayer in general to have an Advent theme. In addition,  Stewart and the Campus Ministry staff are planning a special party—the Gaudete party—for the faculty and staff.

“It is a thank you to the faculty and staff for all the work they do to help Campus Ministry programs throughout the year,” said Stewart. “We do it here in the office, and there’s food and music and things like that.”

While many students celebrate the season of Advent in their own parishes, Stewart thinks that it is important to celebrate it as a school as well. 

“St. Ignatius wants us to be companions of Jesus,” said Stewart. “And anyone that follows Ignatius and his way to God is going to do so alongside Jesus, so Advent is the season of preparation for the arrival of Christ. Throughout Advent, all the preparation that we do helps us as a school focus our spiritual energy on the arrival of Christ.”

According to Stewart, Advent is a time for us to grow in prayer and spirituality, and realize that Christ comes here and now. 

Stewart asks, “As a school, how can we train (ourselves) to recognize Christ when He comes so that we can run to greet him?”

Along with the Adopt-A-Family drive, students have been experiencing Advent-themed prayer throughout their day. In addition, students have had the opportunity to go to the sacrament of confession during their theology class. 

“It just felt really refreshing to me, I felt like a completely different person when I walked out of Fr. Stewart’s confessional,” said freshman Michael Patrick. “The confession helped me to be closer to God, which in turn helped me to feel more passionate about my studies.” 

These confessions have helped the students to realize that they are not alone in this time of studying for exams, and overall, the confessions and theology classes have helped boost the mood during this stressful season.

“In Genesis, Jakob makes a lot of mistakes,” says freshman Noah Butler. “The inspiring thing is that God is always with him through all of his endeavors, which lets me know that He’s always there to help me.”






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