BGA Shares the True Meaning of Christmas
Posted on 12/19/2018
Once again, that time of year is upon us: when people shop for others, place gifts under the tree, go to “Ugly Sweater” parties, and have a carol on their lips wherever they go. Most importantly, however, it is a time when families get together and the spirit of Christmas takes its place in each of us. At Bishop Ahr, this is especially true, as we spend the Christmas season sharing that feeling with not just the BGA family, but the surrounding community as well.

This year, BGA adopted the Advent theme, “God’s Word Comes Down.” In a world of tweets and instant messages, words move quickly but without lasting significance. Everyone in the BGA community was encouraged to open their eyes, ears, and hearts to receive and share the powerful and eternal Word of God: the spoken Word that sparked creation, the written Word that foretold our salvation, the living Word that cried out from the Bethlehem manger, and the everlasting Word that we are blessed to share. 

In various ways, BGA is took action to spread the spirit of Christmas and encourage others to do the same. The school has held collections, fundraisers, and charitable events to accomplish this. The Christian Social Action Club (CSAC) held a Christmas collection over a four-week period in which people donated food, canned goods, food certificates, and gift cards, which were then donated to local food pantries and soup kitchens. Members of CSAC also made Christmas cards for retired Felician Sisters, which are delivered with poinsettia plants to the Felician Sisters’ residence in Lodi, NJ.

The holiday season has also been a busy time for the National Honor Society (NHS). Their Christmas Toy Drive had students donating everything from books, dolls, and toy trucks to games, puzzles, and action figures. The presents were hand-delivered by students to the NIA Community Habitat Development Center in Plainfield. The NHS also sponsored a Winter Blood Drive, which saw many students, faculty, staff, and other BGA community members donate 65 units of blood, which can give the precious gift of life to over 180 people. 

In conjunction with Catholic Charities, the BGA community also adopted four underprivileged families to support during the Christmas season. Through generous student donations, these families will now be able to experience Christmas when they might otherwise not have. Members of the BGA faculty also donated to the poor by responding to the faculty “giving tree,” which was filled with gift requests by needy individuals in the local area. The BGA family also did its part on a global level, once again participating in Operation Christmas Child, a program sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse. This year, 100 shoeboxes were packed with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and other gifts that were sent to poor children in developing nations. Finally, the school continued the tradition and of decorating Christmas Trees and donating them to St. James Church, where they will then be given to families in need.

One of the largest events during the season is the annual Ahr Star Christmas Mass. This year, Bishop James Checchio was the celebrant, and Ahr Stars Mikey and Ellona and their families were showered with love and gifts, which were made possible by the donations of BGA students, faculty, and staff. Through both spiritual and physical support, we hope that we can share with them and their families the joy of the season, especially during these hard times. 

The Bishop Ahr community takes every opportunity available to share its love during this Christmas season, and most importantly, this time of mercy. We hope that you’ll do the same!