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 27 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 scenes from the November 27th Pylypivka prayer service held in the school gym. The group of students in the bottom photo explained this year’s theme (“Pylypivka with the Saints”) to the rest of the school. The students also presented some interesting biographical information about each of the 6 saints.


This year’s theme for Pylypivka was “Pylypivka with the Saints”. For each of the 6 weeks leading up to Christmas, students focused on learning some information about 6 different Catholic saints – one for each week of Pylypivka:

  • Week 1: St. John the Baptist
  • Week 2: St. Thomas Aquinas
  • Week 3: St. Nicholas
  • Week 4: St. Lucy
  • Week 5: St. Joseph
  • Week 6: Mary, Mother of God

Classroom teachers incorporated these 6 saints 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). 

For this year’s Christian service project, SMAC will be raising money to help children in central China. The goal is to move some of these children from factories to schools where they can get a proper education.


So far, the SMAC team has raised $540 for this cause. This money was raised through a bake sale, a haunted house during Halloween, and from the profits of a “Mindful Monday”. Over the next few months, SMAC plans to use various other methods to raise the money they need for this purpose.


Members of the SMAC team explaining this year’s Christian service project to the rest of the school


Mary’s Angels 2018

Mary’s Angel 2018
Also during Pylypivka, the students and staff will be selling small ornaments called “Mary’s Angels”. These figurines are a keepsake and a remembrance for deceased loved ones. An example of the 2018 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 21 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 Pylypivka Prayer  Service.


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.


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.