Jesuit life

Christmas comes to the Novitiate

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Here we go, 6 days until Christmas and preparations are being made here for Christmas and beyond.

Leading up to Christmas we’ve been getting things and ready and have a few things that need doing. On Monday we went to the nearby hospice for the elderly run by The Little Sisters of the Poor to help out at an Advent Carol Service. It went very well, with the  residents and staff  who were all very happy to join in with the singing and to meet up afterwards for a cup of tea.

Yesterday, we put up the tree and the decorations throughout the house. There is now a crib scene in front of the altar, looking much like last year’s one. Also  Christmas light were put
around the hatch into the dining room, making it look like the smoke-filled doorway from Stars in their Eyes.

Tomorrow, we are off to our Thursday placements for the last time until Easter. I’m off to St. Chad’s Sanctuary to teach an English lesson that, according to the newsletter, is supposed to include Father Christmas coming in and handing out presents to the students. It’s been great working there and helping the people learn English and I look forward to returning there in April.

Friday will be our day of recollection, where we try to take stock of the novitiate year so far, and see where God has working with us or in the lives of the people around us, before heading off on Boxing Day for a short break.

When we come back in the new year, we will all head off to our experiments/placements. I’m off to help out a school chaplaincy, Joel is off to Guyana to work with the Jesuits there and Henry is spending his three months in Manchester working at a nearby hospital. Carlos will start his Spiritual Exercises at Loyola which will last for 30 days, then he will do a placement for 5 weeks after that.

Every time someone comes to see the novitiate to get a feel of novice life, I always think they are only seeing half of what it is like. This is because we are on the placements, like the ones above, for at least half the year. And so, begins the second half of our novitiate life. Naturally, it leaves me to say on behalf of everyone at the novitiate,

Merry Christmas to you all and have a wonderful New Year

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