The Christmas holiday has a unique character. Mary, Saint Joseph and the child-God recall in our minds our own families in which we were born, and we were raised. However, the moment comes and for various reasons, we have to leave our family. And, then due to some obstacles and circumstances we are not able to visit our family although we would like to so much. This situation happened this year to a dozen students from our Foundation, who were not able to go to their homelands, to their families, to be with them and celebrate this special time. Traditionally, for those students a special holiday program was prepared, so it could in some way resemble to atmosphere of their family home.

On Christmas Eve, we gathered in the hall to break Christmas Wafer and make Christmas wishes and then eat the Christmas Eve supper. Then, we were singing Christmas carols in Polish and Ukrainian. We also listened to a beautiful violin concert performed by Ania Prosiekava, the freshman of our scholarship program. At midnight, we were participating in the Christmas midnight Mass.

On Christmas, we were participating in the solemn Mass which was celebrated by Fr. Robert Ptak, who also delivered the homily. At 2 p.m., we had a delicious dinner. Both, Christmas Eve supper and the dinner were prepared by young people. In the evening, we met again for supper and singing Christmas carols. I hope that at least in some way we were able to create the atmosphere of a family Christmas.

Fr. Jan Strzałka

Photographs: U. Bila