The children of St Xavier’s Private School are encouraged daily to pray for and keep in mind those less fortunate than they are. Fundraising (and ‘fun-raising’) activities are held each term to heighten their awareness of the need to give for one reason or another.
Advent Season is given special consideration. The school sets aside a special day where the children walk in procession to place their offerings in bags, heightening their awareness of the spirit of generosity that should be ever-present in them. The response is always tremendous. Every year, they are encouraged to donate gifts and toys to the more needy in society, especially those in children’s homes, and this year was no different.
Scores of children excitedly walked along school corridors to donate their share of cheer, accompanied by spirited and encouraging renditions of Christmas classics sung by their peers. Happiness pervaded the atmosphere.
As is the tradition, their gift-giving did not stop at physical gifts. The children also contributed their time as well as their vocal, instrumental and dance talents to spread the joy of Christmas beyond the school.
While some of them made their way to Lourdes House, Arouca to entertain the elderly St Joseph of Cluny Sisters, others headed to the Mt Hope Hospital where the patients and nurses of the Adult Surgical wards had their day brightened up.
The sounds of pan, guitar and voices pervaded the hospital as the group moved from ward to ward and along corridors, belting out joyous greetings in Spanish, English and French, to the delight of those who heard them. The dancers performed in the foyer, then toured with the choir, blending their voices in support.
At school also, other children re-enacted an unusual but eye-opening and entertaining pre-nativity play called ‘Fear Not’, where the anticipation was with the announcement of the birth of Jesus, rather than the actual birth. Pupils were subtly reminded of the ‘reason for the season’. – Elizabeth Derrick.