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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.


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..


At IHMS, a Pylypivka prayer service was held on Tuesday, November 28 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 28


This year’s theme for Pylypivka was “Preparing Our Hearts for Jesus”. For each of the 6 weeks leading up to the Christmas break, the students focused on one important word related to the Pylypivka theme. There was a different word for each week of Pylypivka:

  • Week 1: FAITH
  • Week 2: HOPE
  • Week 3: LOVE
  • Week 4: PEACE
  • Week 5: FORGIVING
  • Week 6: SELF-GIVING

Classroom teachers incorporated these 6 words into their Religion classes by creating age appropriate activities for their students.


Every year during Pylypivka. IHMS undertakes a school wide Christian service project to raise money for disadvantaged people around the world. This global initiative is spearheaded by a group of grade 6-8 students called SMAC (Students Making a Change). SMAC’s goal for this year is to raise money for the impoverished country of Haiti.


Haiti is a country in the Caribbean situated on the western portion of the island of Hispaniola. It shares the island with another sovereign state, the Dominican Republic. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, and one of the poorest countries in the world.


Haiti is a very poor country,  and is still recovering from recent hurricanes and the devastating 2010 earthquake. According to UNICEF, “More than 330,000 children are in need of immediate assistance. Water infrastructure has been damaged, and food production, health and education affected.”


For this year’s Christian service project, IHMS will be raising money to purchase goats for Haitian families. Each goat costs $50, and a female goat can provide up to 16 cups of milk a day. This milk can be used as a food source or can be traded for other necessities of life.


In order to raise the money for this project, the SMAC team decided to sell poinsettia plants from Shelmerdine Garden Centre. These plants are available in 6 festive colours for #29 each and can be picked up at Immaculate Heart of Mary School between 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 14. SMAC will also be selling Rafiki bracelets. poinset



 Mary’s Angel 2017

Also during Pylypivka, the students and staff will be selling “Mary’s Angels”. These plastic figurines are a keepsake and remembrance for deceased loved ones. An example of the 2017 Mary’s Angel is shown in the photo at the left.


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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