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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 Pylypivka prayer service was held on Tuesday, November 29 at 9:00 A.M. in the school gymnasium. During the course of the prayer service, this year’s Pylypivka theme was introduced to the students.


A few photos from the Pylypivka prayer service held on November 29


This year’s theme for Pylypivka at IHMS was “Look Around the Manger”. In order to give the students a concrete visualization of the power of this idea, a Christmas manger was set up in the front foyer of the school. The manger started off completely empty, and each day a new tiny figure (such as a stable animal, each of the Three Wise Men, Joseph, Mary, and Jesus) were added. The idea behind this exercise was to create interest among the students and also to encourage them to “Look Around the Manger”.


emptymanger  manger2
The manger starts out empty New figures appear each day


IHMS will also be undertaking a school wide Christian service project during Pylypivka to raise money for disadvantaged people in Third World countries. This project is being spearheaded by a group of grade 7&8 students called SMAC (Students Making a Change), and the goal is to raise money for health clinics in the South American country of Equador.


Equador is a small under developed country in northwestern South America


So far, the S.M.A.C. team has raised over $1000 selling poinsettia plants as their initial fundraising project. The poinsettias were supplied by Shelmerdine’s Garden Centre (they came in several different varieties) and sold for $20 each. poinset


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. In exchange for their donation. students have a N.U.T. Day where they can wear whatever they want to school, and are are not required to wear their usual IHMS uniforms




Mary’s Angel for 2016


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 22 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.



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