The holiday spirit can be found in the big and small ways our Gibbons family prepares for Christmas. Whether it is participating in prayer services and attending special events or listening to student-singers and musicians performing at concerts or taking part in seasonal outreach efforts – all are traditions that bring us together in celebration of Christ’s birth.
"Knowing we have embraced the invitation to bring joy to the lives of others again this year, I give thanks today and every day for the generosity of our Cardinal Gibbons school community,” said Gary Meyerl '82.
The lighting of the Advent candles is just one of the many ways students reflect on and share their faith during the season. For the last few years, Gibbons also has invited parents and friends to attend an Advent Reflection series to learn more about the infancy narratives of Jesus within the Gospels of Luke and Matthew.
For four sessions on Wednesday evenings in November and December Gibbons Theology Educator Mark DeLaRosa discussed these wonderful accounts of the birth of Jesus with 13 participants.
Describing what he hoped attendees gained from this year’s series, DeLaRosa said, “…With the Spirit’s inspiration, our participants will enter into the Season of Advent with more to think about and pray about. Moreover, their hearts will welcome more fully the coming of Christ at Christmas this year and in the years to come!”
For Gibbons parents Tim and Lucy Jordan the series was beneficial. "It has helped us reflect on the amazing story of Christ's birth as it fits within God's larger plan for His creation.”
Taking part in seasonal outreach efforts has long been a tradition at Gibbons. Those outreach efforts consisted of 18 Class of 2019 alumni returning to their alma mater on a Monday before Christmas to staff the Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen.*
The Gibbons school community also collected and donated new clothes and toys to disadvantaged children as part of the annual Toy and Clothing Drive. The National Honor Society (NHS) sponsors the drive.
“The toy drive sponsored 94 children from Beginning and Beyond Child Development Center in Raleigh,” said Kristin Edrington, college counseling coordinator and a NHS moderator.“ Every child received toys, clothing, and shoes for the upcoming Christmas Holiday.”
Reflecting on the assistance the Gibbons school community has provided those in need this Advent season Gary Meyerl ’82, director of Outreach Ministry, said: “St. Francis of Assisi reminds us that it is in giving that we receive, and I can speak firsthand to the joy we have given and received this Christmas. Knowing we have embraced the invitation to bring joy to the lives of others again this year, I give thanks today and every day for the generosity of our Cardinal Gibbons school community.”
Principal Nancy A. Barkan agreed and added: "On behalf of our school community, I'd like to wish all of our students, families, alumni, and friends continued joy in this Advent season, a restful break, and a blessed Christmas."