Written by Ethan Molitor
This past Thursday, the entire campus of St. Paul’s was lit with the soft light of the annual Luminarias Celebration. Over 3,000 lights, each one representing a different prayer, illuminated the hearts of all that attended.
Over 1,000 people came to offer their prayers Thursday night. Residents from the Covington community came to celebrate the Christmas season with the St. Paul’s community. The annual Luminarias event began in the 1970s, and has now become a staple of St. Paul’s during the Advent and Christmas seasons.
The paper bags with small tea candles inside shone bright across the campus. Many St. Paul’s students spent the majority of Thursday afternoon setting up and spreading out the bags along the sidewalks in and around Founder’s Circle and the Briggs Assembly Center, along the path to the cafeteria, around the pond, and outlining the perimeter of the campus. As is customary, a word was spelled out in the stands of Hunter Stadium with a special message for the students. The word changes annually and is kept secret until the night of the event.
The evening began with caroling in Founder’s Circle, led by the school’s Liturgical Band, followed by a prayer service in Our Lady of Peace Chapel. Student Council President Sam Giberga offered a reflection during the prayer service about this year’s word: logos, which is Greek for “the Word,” and how it related to John’s gospel. Giberga phrased his speech around verses from John’s Gospel, namely John 1:1 and John 1:14, which talk about the Word of God and how it was made flesh in Jesus.
Following the prayer service, the Mother’s Club hosted a reception in the cafeteria, where the Jazz Wolves put on a concert to entertain the attendees with various Christmas and jazz selections, including “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” sung by senior Grant Holmes.
After the reception, band parent Doug Ashton, who was helping to clean up after the jazz band’s performance, noticed a fire under an oak tree and rushed to stop it.
“I was looking across the pond, and I saw this bright, bright light. Then, somebody started yelling ‘fire!’, so I ran into the cafeteria and grabbed an ice chest,” Ashton said.
Running across the bridge with another parent, Ashton doused the fire, presumably caused by an overturned bag, preventing the mishap from leaving a hazardous blemish on the evening’s event.
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Video clip of carolers singing “Jingle Bells” in Founder’s Circle:
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Video clip of the jazz band performing at the reception:
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Videos courtesy of Christi Simoneaux. Photos courtesy of Christi Simoneaux, Kole Gorney, and Brother Ray Bulliard’s Weekly Newsletter.