By Joanna Jain ’19
The tree in the center of campus is decked out in red and green streamers, which can only mean one thing: it’s Christmastime at Archbishop Mitty High School. With the start of the Christmas season, Monarchs have focused on extending a sense of community to the marginalized.
This year, the annual Advent Liturgy fell on the feast day for Our Lady of Guadalupe and focused on her story. The patron saint of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe carries a message of love for the most humble members of society, one that we as a community have worked to embody this Christmas season. Senior Maritza Robles delivered a powerful reflection at the liturgy, sharing what the feast day means to her and her family and inviting us all to see the ways Mary’s spirit continues to manifest in our lives. During Advent, we continue to find inspiration in Mary’s “yes” to becoming the mother of God, despite probably feeling a lot of fear. At Christmas, the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Juan Diego is another beautiful reminder of how God is with us, especially in our times of greatest need. Liturgies, like this one, serve to unite the school community with a common message, especially during the holidays.
Admittedly, December can be a stressful time for students: with finals, college applications, and the end of the semester looming, there doesn’t seem to be room for much else. Yet despite all this, Monarchs have been living out a message of solidarity this Christmas season in a multitude of ways both on and off campus, working to extend a sense of community to the world beyond our walls.
Perhaps one of the most significant ways in which Archbishop Mitty students participate in living out the Advent theme of solidarity is by taking part in the annual Teens for Teens Christmas drive. This year, students donated items ranging from clothing to card games. California Scholarship Federation (CSF) members, coordinated by Counselor Mrs. Falcone, joined the American Association of University Women at the Gifts for Teens headquarters to sort and package all the donations, which were then distributed to underprivileged teens across the Bay Area by Sacred Heart Community Services and other local agencies. In donating both materials and time to the Teens for Teens Drive, Archbishop Mitty students demonstrated goodwill to those who needed it the most, standing in solidarity with impoverished teenagers in the Bay Area. High school stress aside, Monarchs have been striving to see the bigger picture this Christmas, building on Our Lady of Guadalupe’s example by extending a sense of community to the most vulnerable groups in society during the holiday season.