Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 18, 2006
Children give loving presents to Jesus
Grade 2 Mary Hanley students give from the heart
By BILL GLEN
"We are treating our soul and our mind like it's our home."
- Danny Kinal
The school's motto is A Place of Joy and the festive atmosphere this Christmas is not by accident, says school principal Danny Kinal.
"I like to see us focus on the Church calendar and truly have an understanding of it," said Kinal. "We talked with the students about how the first Sunday of Advent is the start of the new Church year. What we are basically saying is Happy New Year."
The school celebrated Advent with songs performed by its 120-voice choir.
"We are preparing for the coming of Christmas. We are waiting in a positive way," Kinal said.
The students take home joy bags and seasonal books to help plan for the wait.
"We are treating our soul and our mind like it's our home," he said. "We are making it ready to make it a home for Christ."
If Kinal sees the students focus on materialism, he encourages them to find balance.
"You don't ever want to replace the idea of a gift or telling Santa what they want for Christmas. But we need to instill in them that there are two sides to it," he said.
Seven-year-old Emily Thomson enjoys Christmas because it means a trip out of town to see her grandma and grandpa.
"I would give Jesus one of my paintings because I made it myself," she said.
Christopher Crossman likes Christmas because it is baby Jesus' birthday. He has a special gift for him.
"I would like to give him a cross I made with popsicle sticks," said Christopher, 7.
Morning announcements at the school include prayers for a Grade 4 student who underwent a bone marrow transplant last summer in Calgary to battle her leukemia. She is still in the hospital.
"Her parents thank us for our prayers and the power of our prayers," Kinal said. "They believe it has really helped her regain strength."
Grade 4 students Jordan Bell and Mackie Colvin have a special Christmas wish for her. "I have been praying for her. It is important," Jordan said.
"I hope she gets better soon," Mackie added.
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