'Tis the Season at Saint Joseph's

Monday, December 3, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around Saint Joseph's University, as departments across campus prepare for the holiday season with a number of annual events.

The Administrative Staff Council will host the University's tree lighting ceremony and blessing of the Nativity scene on Thursday, Dec. 6, at 4:30 p.m., on the lawn of St. Thomas Hall. The tree will be lit at dusk, and a choir will lead the participants in holiday carols. A reception will follow in the Haub Executive Center, McShain Hall.

The University will also celebrate the Jewish holiday of Hanukah with a menorah candle lighting on the second night of the festival, Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 4 p.m., in the Wolfington Center. Members of the Office of Mission, Campus Ministry, the Faith-Justice Institute and the Interfaith Task Force will provide information on the holiday and its associated customs. The event is held as part of SJU Learns, an initiative designed to educate the University community on its diverse faith traditions. In that spirit, the Office of Multicultural Life will host a Kwanzaa celebration at the same time in the Presidents' Lounge, Campion Student Center.

True to the Jesuit spirit of being men and women for others, the holiday season also brings opportunities to give to those who are less fortunate. The men's basketball team will shop for needy families in the area on Saturday, Dec. 15, and deliver the gifts to the families on Saturday, Dec. 22.

The Office of Government and Community Relations is currently collecting new, unwrapped toys for its annual Toys for Tots drive in cooperation with the Department of Athletics and the U.S. Marine Corps. Collection bins are located in the Office of Public Safety and Security, Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, and Mandeville 342. Marines will be in attendance at the men's basketball game versus Holy Cross on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m., in the Fieldhouse to collect donations.

"For 60 years, the Toys for Tots program has worked diligently to help others," said Patty Martin, associate director of government and community relations. "Their goals are very much in step with the University's Jesuit mission of service."

In addition, a holiday giving tree has been set up in the Chapel of St. Joseph-Michael J. Smith, S.J., Memorial by the Administrative Staff Council. Those interested in donating can pick up a tag with a gift suggestion and return it by Wednesday, Dec. 12.

"Although I've understood the true meaning of Christmas since I was little, nothing compares with the spirit that fills me when I see the gifts piled up and know that we've brought such joy to so many people," said Sue McFadden, staff chair of the Administrative Staff Council. "That feeling is the best Christmas present I've ever received."

--Jeffrey Martin '04, '05 (M.A.)

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