Let There Be Light
The holidays are here. Equally as important as our respective faith traditions of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, the winter solstice, and Diwali not too long ago, the corporate Season of Light is a time that illuminates the dark days of daylight savings time and, in 2020, the pandemic for all of us.
At FXW, where action must match rhetoric, we live out our Charism of Faith in a variety of ways. Whatever one’s faith tradition, FXW is a community where we are free to celebrate and share the tenets of our faiths in a myriad of ways.
Hanukkah began the evening of Thursday, December 10 and ends at Sundown this Friday. I recently had the pleasure of talking (via Microsoft Teams) to Kindergartener Jude Brescia, who is a student of dual faith. He and his mother, HNC social worker and SEED facilitator Alyssa Brescia, recently shared a video with Room 22 that shares their Jewish faith and also delightfully highlights his Catholic faith from his father, Nick. When reflecting upon the video he created to teach his classmates more about Hanukkah, Jude said “I like celebrating both holidays because they are both really fun and I like to get presents.”
At our HNC campus, Grade 4 Learning Specialist Claudia Ramirez has created a beautiful and informative video about Las Posadas, a Mexican Christmas tradition which takes place on each of the nine nights leading up to Christmas from December 16 to 24. Claudia’s video may be found in the Hidden Figures segment of With Mission in Mind.
The flickering flames of the Kwanzaa candelabrum, the Advent wreath, the Diwali diya, the Hanukkah menorah, and many other Season of Light keepers of the flame all draw upon the common human need for the comfort of light and warmth. And of all times to harken the light, it is now…in the dark days of a pandemic that is not always ringing of silver bells and silver linings. It has never been more important for our community to continue to Live the Legacy of Mother Warde through our service to the Lakeview Pantry Toy Drive, Catholic Charities Celebration of Giving: Unwrap the Spirit, the Grade 5 Collection for Cradles to Crayons, and the Grade 4 drive for The Night Ministry to name a few.
And in the spirit of Charism observance, thank you to the hundreds of households that tuned into our Maggie Daley Speaker Series Community Conversation on Race with Dr. Derrick Gay and Dr. Amanda Lewis last week. For those who were unable to join, but have requested access to view this event, please click here.
Before we close the calendar year on 2020 and enjoy a much-needed break, we invite you to join us for a cherished holiday tradition, our Seasons of Light Prayer Service, on Friday, December 18 at 8:30 a.m. This year, we will livestream our prayer service to allow our entire community to participate from the comfort of home—both a privilege and a place of gratitude.
Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to all of us at FXW!
—Kendall Mallette, Director of Mission Integration
To Our God we offer thanks. We thank you for that star that announced the coming of our Savior so many years ago. Witnessed by the wise three, we thank you for their journey that was in response to that starry call. Just as then, we thank you now, for the destination at the end of the journey that is Jesus Christ.
In this season of Advent, a time of celebration to prepare for Jesus, we ask that Jesus bring the Joy to all of those who have lost sight of, forgotten, and have had the light of the world shadow their souls.
This year has been a harsh year for many to take. We pray today that, just as the journey was harsh in the time that Matthew writes, we seek and see the Joy that illuminates not just our path, but also our lives.
In awe at the Joy you deem us worthy to behold, in the name whose Joy has no equal, in the name that is the answer to a prayer, in the name of Jesus, we say, Amen.
By Rev. Damon Smith
Community Renewal Society