stphillip4 The pre-Christmas period called “Advent” in the Roman Catholic Church is known as “Pylypivka” by Ukrainian Catholics. Pylypivka begins on November 15th, the day after the Feast of St. Philip (November 14), and continues for forty days until December 24th..


For the faithful, Pylypivka is a time of preparing our hearts and lives for the coming Christmas season. It’s characterized by fasting or the abstinence of certain foods, prayer, attending pre-Christmas services, and acts of charity to others.


A Christmas tree with a manger scene set up in the front foyer of the school


A Pylypivka prayer service, originally scheduled for Thursday, November 26, was rescheduled and held in the school gym the following Tuesday at 9:00 am. During the course of the prayer service, this year’s Pylypivka theme was introduced to the students.


Students assembled in the gym for a Pylypivka service on Tuesday, December 1


angelvertical The theme of Pylypivka this year at IHMS is “Angel in the Room”. In order to create a concrete visualization of the power of this idea, every week during Pylypivka the classroom teachers will hide a ceramic representative of an angel (shown at left) somewhere in their classroom. The idea behind this exercise is not to search out and try to find the angel.


It’s hoped the students will feel as if they are being watched by an invisible entity (symbolically represented by the hidden angel) even though they can’t actually see the angel watching them. Students will then be on their best behaviour as they prepare their hearts and minds for the coming of Christmas. blueeyes


In addition, for each of the remaining weeks before the Christmas break, the students will explore and discuss in their classrooms a different Biblical virtue such as respect, kindness, generosity, humility, love and patience. virtues


During this time, students will be encouraged to to do good deeds and make small sacrifices for the benefit of others. The student doing the good deed should be genuinely concerned with the needs and wishes of others – it should be a completely unselfish act.


IHMS will also be undertaking a school wide Christian service project during Pylypivka to raise money for disadvantaged families in Third World countries. This project is being spearheaded by a group of grade 6-8 students called SMAC (Students Making a Change), and the goal is to raise money for clean water for the African country of Kenya. africa


kenya By donating money on various N.U.T. days, during “water walks” and on Toonie Tuesdays, the students of IHMS hope to provide several families in Kenya with clean drinking water. The school will help provide wells, pumps, pipes and rain catchment systems to people who need it the most.


Not only that, regular access to clean water supports farmers in these villages, as well as providing time for young boys and girls to go to school as they no longer need to walk for hours to fetch water from far away and unclean sources. The good news is that for every $25 donated, one person in Kenya will have access to clean water and sanitation products for the rest of their life! This is an incredible chance to help out those who are less fortunate.


toonie4 Although parents and students are free to donate at any time during Pylypivka, Tuesday’s will be known as “Toonie Tuesdays” where students are encouraged to donate two dollars on every Tuesday.




A Mary’s Angel for 2015

Also during Pylypivka, the students and staff will be selling “Mary’s Angels”. These glass figurines are a keepsake and remembrance for deceased loved ones.
When an individual purchases an Angel, a prayer card is filled out at the school with the loved one’s name. The cards are attached to an Angel ornament and placed on the “Mary”s Angels Tree” located in the front foyer of the school. A Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by the students and staff on Friday, December 18 at 1:00 p.m. for the intentions of the loved ones.


After the Christmas season the Angels will be sent home with each of the students that sold them. The Angels are then given to the clients who purchased them as a keepsake in memory of their loved ones.Each Mary’s Angel can be purchased for $5.00, or a package of three for $15.00. Order forms will be sent out soon after the first Pylypivka Service.



bvm The proceeds from this project will go towards Marian Hour Centre, Radio Rosary on CKJS where the rosary is recited every evening from 10:30 – 10:45 p.m.