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Community Reflections

Community Reflections

View the daily Images of Advent posts on Campus Ministry's InstagramFacebook Pages. 

Day 26: December 24

Reflector: Sr. Carol Jean Vale, SSJ

Image Title: God's Heart
Image Source: personal photograph
 
Have you ever noticed that Christmas Eve is thick with anticipation? There is a magic about the day before Christmas that no other dayholds. On this holy day, it is the image of the heart with which I pray – my heart, filled with longing and expectation, my heart filled with gratitude and awe. Likewise, it is God’s heart that I hold in my hands – the heart of the Trinity, who opened Itself to us in a love beyond imagining. Before tomorrow’s dawn, out of the depths of this heart, a child, filled with the revelation of God’s unconditional lovewill be born; a child who reveals to us Who God truly is – a community of outpouring Love, Who is inviting us into unity with the Divine Three. The God of the universe comes to us naked, helpless, vulnerable. The God who exists  untouchable  rests in a maiden’s arms – touchable, caressable, kissable. Whoever could have imagined such a truth?
 

Day 25: December 23

Reflector: Jeffrey Carroll

Image Title: Black __________ Matters
Image Source: personal photograph
 
This year will be forever defined by its challenges. As it closes, we're offered the opportunity of renewal and remembrance through the spirit of those like George Floyd and Walter Wallace Jr., an embodiment of how Black _________ Matters. Today and everyday, pray for equity and all that accompanies it via our republic and through the continuation of the American experiment. God - help us recharge and renew. Help us not cease in our longing for light. 
 
Jeffrey is a political scientist fixated on creating a just, equitable society who calls Passyunk Square (South Philly) home. Jeffrey serves as Chair of the Center for Data & Society and Assistant Professor of Political Science. 

Day 24: December 22

Reflector: Danielle Rossi '97
Image Title: Lumina
Image Source: Original Charcoal Drawing, Danielle Rossi
 
I found this drawing while looking for another drawing that I intended to submit for this reflection.  Maybe Advent 2020 will be about this type of saga for me... I think I know what I need to find and am so frustrated.  I just had it.... I was just thinking that I was glad I had not lost it in many moves...  yet my search is unsuccessful.  An old portfolio uncovers a drawing that I created over 25 years ago... "Lumina" found me and she is a woman who is birthing light.  Lumina... can you find me for real this Advent.  I feel like I might be looking for the wrong things? Lumina, Blessed Mother, Jesus of the "Mary-Darkness" can you give me the grace to see you birthing light in a year that I am SURE I have lost important things.... Remind me that I am your child.
 
Danielle Rossi is an artist, an alumna of Chestnut Hill College, an SSJ associate, and most importantly a mom of four good people. Danielle loves teaching painting at CHC as her night gig, while devoting her day to the students of Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School. 

Day 23: December 21

Reflector: Stef Reif '13

Image Title: Christmas in the Rotunda 



I was never really a "Christmas person," I much preferred less stressful, warmer holidays, that was, until I came to Chestnut Hill College.  Between preparing for Christmas Decorating Night, spending 8+ hours perfecting the placement of each ornament with friends, "waking" Sister Carol in the wee hours of the morning with our caroling, and continuing the caroling in the Rotunda the next night; it is hard not to feel the Christmas spirit that permeates the campus.
 
This year, however I thought it would be different and while it was different, there seemed to be no lack of spirit coming from our Griffins.  It was great to see the CHC community come together to make a virtual Carol Night a reality, from our musical alums to those who sent in their college Christmas photos, the group effort added a bit of magic to the night.  But the Christmas magic didn't stop there, this past Friday we hosted Night of Giving and as always, we saw everyone come together to decorate the Rotunda. This year as a whole looks different, but it is heartwarming to know that the magic of Christmas at CHC is still thriving.

Stephanie is the Associate Director of Advancement Events and loves talking to alumni about their time at CHC, especially their Christmas decoration stories!

 

Day 22: December 20

Reflector: Olivia Guerra '22

Image Title: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Still Life

Image Source: Final Painting ARTS 134, Olivia Guerra

 

This is an image I painted recently of a statue I own of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This year, especially, I have found myself becoming more deeply devoted to Mary. We can learn so much from her example. From the Annunciation, through the journey to Bethlehem, to the birth of Jesus, Mary placed her complete and unwavering trust in the Lord. During these difficult times, it is easy to be overcome by fear, lose heart, and doubt whether or not God is truly by our side. Mary certainly felt the temptation to give in to similar doubts and fears, but from a state of complete vulnerability, she opened herself up to be filled with the Lord and gave birth to the Savior of the world. I recently read a reflection in the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary from which a particular line remained with me: “God is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life”. During this season of hope and earnest waiting, let us meditate upon the significance of the moment we are preparing to commemorate, the moment where we were blessed with the opportunity for new life. May we strive to grow closer to Jesus through Mary and place our unwavering trust in God’s will for our lives. Amen. 

 

Olivia is a junior at CHC studying Psychology. During this virtual semester, she has been blessed to spend time with my family, work on growing closer to God, play the guitar, and paint.

 

Day 21: December 19

Reflector: Stephen Stunder 

Image Title: The Iceberg

At this time of year, we often look to those around us for comfort and care.  If this year has taught us anything, it is that we have to work a little harder to find that comfort, and it is often in ourselves.  This iceberg represents a beautiful sight ... a glistening image of beauty above the surface.  It is what is below that makes it beautiful - the foundation and steady shifting in the water that brings this iceberg peace and solitude.  As we reflect on 2020, and search for love this advent season ... look to your foundation - at what below makes you beautiful.  It is strong and steady.  

 

Stephen is an Assistant Professor of Human Services and Director of the Graduate Human Services Management Program. He is passionate about family, love, and being someone that brings people together.

 

Day 20: December 18

Reflector: Lauren Barrow 

Image Title: Threshold

 

By observing the thresholds of light and dark, we are tutored in the art of surrendering to the Divine mystery and opening our hearts, minds, and bodies to the great intangibles (spiritualityandpractice.com)

Threshold.

 

A simple noun.  Something that means “a strip of wood, metal or stone forming the bottom of a doorway”. SimpleBut did you ever think of meaning in terms of images? A threshold conjures thoughts of exciting beginnings such as “Carrying a new spouse over the threshold” and endings as when one arrives home and “crosses the threshold” to end their day. Beginnings and endings mean we are living. Powerful 

 

Simple and Powerful.

 

Another definition for threshold is the “magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a certain reaction”. The “magnitude” or “intensity”. Powerful adjectives that move the word from simple to complex. What reaction?  I see events in the world through a threshold.  Right now, the magnitude of what we, as a country and as a people, are facing seems enormous, even overwhelming. The intensity of what we are facing threatens to overcome us. Surely that is one way of looking at the situation, at any situation. But just think – isn’t this what beginnings feel like? -- the first day of college?, a new relationship?, a new job? 

 

Intense and overwhelming.

 

But then again, it is just a threshold. A simple strip forming the bottom of a doorway. Cross it. And know without hesitation that when you lift your foot – you are carried by those who love and support you in change  your professors, your family, your friends, and your God. Know that what feels intense and overwhelming is really just simple and powerful – a threshold made known.

 

Lauren serves as the Chair of the Center for Education, Advocacy & Social Justice. She is a wife, mother, mentor and student - in no particular order.

 

Day 19: December 17

Reflector: Cathy Lockyer Moulton '92
Image Title: Gingerbread Trifle: an original recipe
 
This time of year, it is easy to make ourselves busy and filled with anxiety during this time of year. During Advent, I reflect on the words of my friend, Ms. Charlotte. She told me, "Don't rush. Cook for the people you love with the love in your heart first." This always reminds me of the story of Martha in the kitchen making herself so busy that she nearly missed a visit with Jesus (Luke 10:38-42). Rather, we should remember the overwhelming joy and anticipation of the shepherds on that first Holy Night when they found the Star of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:7-12). May we all slow our intentions and do for others with the love in our hearts. That is all that is asked of us.
 
Cathy is a proud member of the Class of '92, the Chair of the Board of Directors of Chestnut Hill College, and a Masters candidate. During the week, Cathy spends her time running the family business. In her spare time, you can usually find Cathy cooking or baking for the people she loves.

 

Day 18: December 16

Reflector: Jessica Day '09
Image Title: Circle the City with Love 
 

After a taxing and challenging 2020, I enter the Advent Season with a feeling of hope for a better 2021. The Advent wreath is one of the most visible symbols of the Advent season, which reminds me of the ring in McCaffery Lounge with the words “Circle the City with Love”. The Advent wreath represents God’s infinite love, and the phrase from McCaffery Lounge remind us that Chestnut Hill College is full of His love, as well as a supportive and caring community. I am grateful to be a part of the Chestnut Hill community, which has brought me so much joy and comfort during this challenging year.

Jess is a proud Chestnut Hill alum, who currently serves as the Associate Director of Athletics.

 

Day 17: December 15

Reflector: Andrew Conboy '18 

Image Title: Anticipating Warmth and Light
 
In today’s scripture (ZEP 3:1-2, 9-13), I am reminded that during trying times, we must continue to trust and grow closer to the Lord. In the picture, I am planting a tree in Fairmount Park with other volunteers this past November. When we plant these trees, we trust and anticipate that light and warmth will return in the spring, and the trees will take root and continue to grow. In a similar way, the tree loses its leaves in the fall when things start to get darker and colder, but it “trusts” that they will grow back next season. During this advent season, especially during such a difficult year devoid of light, I am reminded to continue to trust and anticipate the return of the light and warmth of the Lord. Through this, we will continue to grow as faithful followers.

Andrew majored in environmental science at CHC. He is passionate about environmental issues and enjoys doing what he can to help solve them within our community.

 

Day 16: December 14

Reflector: Gretchen M. Tillitt 
Image Title: Rainbow Promise (Sognefjord, Norway)
 
Rainbow Promise 
Glimmers of mist catching slivers of sunlight in 
the clear cool breeze brightening the air.
Delight at the chilled water's edge,
reaching to peaks of mineraled mountains.
Pristine hues promising eternity.
Love lingering to give us hope and a promise.
 

Today's readings are in memorial of St. John of the Cross, priest and doctor of the Church. I was led by this scripture: "His wells shall yield free-flowing waters, he shall have the sea within reach (Numbers 24:7)."

Gretchen is the Administrative Coordinator for the DeSales campus Masters Program of Clinical and Counseling Psychology and a student of the Organizational Leadership MS program. She lives in Bethlehem, enjoys the arts and music, French, and travel.

 

Day 15: December 13


Reflector: Samantha Tomlinson '20
Title: Summer in the Mountains

This picture is one taken at a time in my life where I felt peace. It was a small vacation but it helped me to regather my thoughts and energy toward what I love. I try to live every day in the service of God and of others. This comes with great pleasure and joy but can lead to a spiritual and emotional burnout. During this time of advent, I hope that you can look at this photo and find an inner peace. Serving God is a great task, but remember that serving yourself is just as important. Hoping that in these times, all are safe and healthy. I am keeping those affected by Covid and healthcare workers in my special prayers. 
 
Samantha has been an active member of CHC community for the past 5 years. She loves taking part in retreats and volunteer opportunities. She is also the program coordinator for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Currently, Sam is in the Masters of Clinical and Counseling Psychology Program and working as a crisis worker for Lenape Valley Foundation. She has a 6 month old Bernedoodle puppy who will be trained as a therapy dog to go into children's hospitals to make the bad days a little better. 
 

Day 14: December 12

Reflector: Bethany Welch
Image Title: Preparations
December 12th marks the memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who was named Patroness of the Americas by Pope John Paul II in 1999. I was first introduced to this Marian apparition when I volunteered in a Latino community in North Philadelphia. A devotion to "La Virgen" grew in my own heart as I saw her image appear over and over again in the lives of those who needed her fierce accompaniment and compassionate intercession. When I later served in a parish with a large Mexican community, I was invited to participate in the annual December celebration that included creating flower filled frames for the life size icons we would carry on our shoulders in a long procession from South Philadelphia to the cathedral basilica in Center City. The scent of roses, the slight pain of fingers pricked by thorns, and cold, tired feet are just some of the memories I associate with this sacred and grace filled act that lands in the weeks of Advent and prepares me for a savior who was born from an inclusive and expansive love.
 
Bethany Welch teaches at Rutgers University-Camden and works as a Justice and Peace Fellow for the Conference of Major Superiors of Men. She is in formation with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Philadelphia. Bethany is a friend of many who have shared life and ministry with our CHC community, and her reflection is shared with us today through the St. Raphaela Retreat Center Images of Advent reflection series. 
 

Day 13: December 11

Reflector: Jacki Reich
Image Title: Reaching to God
Today’s Advent readings continue the theme of expectant waiting.  As I write, we are experiencing a major surge in Covid-19 infections and the prospect of tighter restrictions. The pandemic has made all of us feel brittle and at risk. We feel alienated and we are suffering….and the end of this suffering is still several months away, at best.  We need to wait for the end of the pandemic. So, we wait. 
We all regret that this holiday season requires that we distance ourselves from each other and forgo many beloved traditions. However, I bet that before the pandemic, many of us were guilty of focusing too much on the material aspects of the holiday and rushing and filling our time with activities that did not necessarily bring meaning to our lives or help to others.   
 Let us use this quarantined 2020 Advent of less activity and more introspection—of waiting—to make the changes that are needed to bring ourselves closer to God.  We have the chance to prayerfully orient ourselves to embrace the opportunities that will come in post-Covid times. To quote today’s reading Psalm 1:3, “be like a tree…that yields its fruit in due season and whose leaves never fade.”
 
Dr. Reich is a political science professor who is passionate about teaching international relations courses. She loves to explore other countries and cannot wait until the pandemic is over so that she can continue traveling and learning about people all around the world. Currently, Dr. Reich serves as Interim Dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies.
 

Day 12: December 10 

Reflector: Mary Ann Tancredi ‘73

Image Title: View from the Terrace of the Oblate House, Rome
 

O, for a Lord who grasps my hand and says: Fear not, I will help you! The view here is from a rooftop in Trastevere overlooking the hills of Rome. Towering cypress trees point heavenward; low, sturdy olive trees hug the earth; enduring pines scatter across the Eternal City--all as vibrant now as in the time of Christ. Through these lush trees, I feel connected to the people of Israel in their longing. O, that I may see and understand!

Mary Ann is a retired teacher and administrator in the School District in Philadelphia, now enjoying her role as Nonna.

 

Day 11: December 9

Reflector: La-Riese M. Garcia '12 & '16
Image Title: You Are What You Eat
Image Source: Edwin Lester

In considering this image and how it speaks to me, a piece of scripture moves to the forefront of my mind: “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:2).”

This is a scripture that my Husband and I recently reviewed together. For me, it is an instruction of where to find the nourishment my soul seeks. I pray that it remains at the forefront of my mind now and always as a means of comfort and reassurance. I pray also, that this scripture can serve those who read it in the same manner. 
I am sure that some will be taken aback by seeing an image of a little girl eating pages from the Bible. Rightfully so. However, in considering this time of hope and anticipation, this serves as a reminder of where to go and to whom to look when I grow fearful, anxious, stressed, and impatient. 
This year, I have remained in a constant state of reflection and doing the work of becoming the person I want to be. What I have learned, is that my faith keeps me grounded more than I ever realized. Relying on the Lord and seeking His counsel has provided so much peace and understanding.
La-Riese is a proud CHC alumna and current Director for Campus Life. She hopes that her faith and desire for justice and opportunity for Black and Brown folks allow her to serve our community in the best way possible.
 

Day 10: December 8, Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Reflector: Michelle Lesher, SSJ
Image Title: Ordinary Magnificence
I captured this most attention-grabbing image a few years ago while I was on retreat in Cape May. I was new to the world of smartphones, and I was desperately trying to immortalize a most striking sunset. As I played with the zoom feature on the camera app, imagine my surprise when this picture materialized on my screen. What was it? After a few minutes, I figured out that it was a magnified image of the sand right under my feet. I was awe-struck. This sand—brown, boring, dull, bland—is actually made up of tiny sparkling crystal-like grains. I was overwhelmed by its beauty. As I prayed with this image on retreat, it made me wonder what other ordinary magnificence I might be missing when I don’t look deeply enough? What happens when I don’t take the time to reflect on the experiences that I have each day—to pray for wisdom and grace concerning each interaction, relationship, phone call, task, etc.? What deeper meaning is right there, just below the surface, if only I take the time with God to look more deeply? For me, this image speaks of an Advent invitation to notice the ways that God comes to us each day—even if we sometimes also say, “How can this be?” How can this be that God comes to me, to you, to us, in this time, in this place, in our world exactly as it is right now? I pray that I have eyes to see so that I, too, can offer my whole-hearted yes to bearing God in our time.
As we pray with Mary on her feast, I am reminded of this quote of Meister Eckhart: “We are all meant to be mothers of God. What good is it to me if this eternal birth of the Divine Son takes place unceasingly, but does not take place within myself? And, what good is it to me if Mary is full of grace if I am not also full of grace? What good is it to me for the Creator to give birth to His Son if I do not also give birth to Him in my time and my culture? This, then, is the fullness of time: When the Son of Man is begotten in us.”

Sister Michelle Lesher SSJ, ‘00 is currently serving as the Interim Assistant to the President for Mission and Ministry at the College. S. Michelle also works in Formation Ministry and as a Spiritual Director. She is passionate about companioning people in their relationship with God.

 

 

Day 9: December 7

Reflector: Melanie Gregory '21 @_melbearsImage
Title: Beloved
Today's readings (Isaiah 40: 1-11, 2 Peter 3:8-14) tell us about the heart of discipleship and that there is a compassionate purpose in God's timing. Long before the pandemic I longed for a closer relationship with God, but because of the everyday hustle and bustle I never genuinely took the time. Once the pandemic happened we were all forced to stop and be still. And in that time I prayed and talked with God to build a closer and stronger relationship. In doing that I am now able to better understand God’s plan for my life. With today’s readings I want to always remember that I am here to leave light everywhere I go, and if I do that I am living the life that God put me here to live. I am called now to remember to not get stumbled by such worldly logic but to turn to Christ, to be obedient and trust in God’s timing.
Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day.
2 Peter 3:8
Melanie is a senior majoring in Human Services, passionate about music, education and serving others. She believes she is learning and growing everyday through God and the many things she is passionate about on life's journey.

Day 8: December 6

Reflector: Linda Avila ‘75
Image: Dunes
“Stay with me Lord, to show me your will!
Stay with me, Lord, to show me your will.
Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear your voice and follow you.” - Padre Pío
These are a few sentences from Padre Pio’s prayer Stay with Me. This prayer has been important to me during difficult times like the pandemic. Padre Pío was a priest in the Capuchin Order, stigmatic and mystic from Pietrelcina, Italy. He inspires me because of his belief in in the power of prayer. He says “Pray, hope and don’t worry. Worry is useless.”
Linda Avila ’75 is retired. She loves watercolors and dragon boating. She painted the watercolor above.

Day 7: December 5

Reflector: Julia Marcel

Image Title: A Grandmother’s Love, Yellow Blooms
I’m brought back to when I was five years old and I spent the summer with my great grandmother Julia, who I am named after. She escaped Ukraine during World War II with just a suitcase and her 9-year-old daughter. I was told she was strong-willed and stubborn, but I only knew her as my soft-spoken Baba Julie. My parents would drop me off every day at her house and we would spend all day gardening. She’d bring me over to her beautiful blackberry bush where we’d sit and eat the berries, few making it into the bucket for jam. We didn't talk much, not because there was nothing to say, but because nothing needed to be said. We simply sat in each other's company enjoying the warmth of the sun and the sweet juice from the berries. There was an easy silence. I didn't know it at the time but that was God.
Looking back, I think of all the hardships my great great-grandmother had to go through, leaving everything she knew, seeing the worst of people, and still, she could sit and enjoy the silence with her great-granddaughter.
In the spirit of Advent, I desire that easy silence once again. I find that God is the loudest in the quiet. I can hear the soft whispers of the Holy Spirit stirring in my heart, just like when I sat in my great-grandmother's backyard 20 years ago. This season of preparation and waiting allows me more easily to carve out that time and let in the quiet goodness.
Julia Marcel is Assistant Director of Campus Ministry who enjoys the energetic, joyful love of God. When she's not playing guitar or taking photos, she is baking bread or serving as a birth doula and a HypnoBirthing educator.

Day 6: December 4

Reflector: Kathleen McCloskey, SSJ 

Image Title: Emerging Dreams

Such joy in today’s Advent readings!  The dreams of the poor and the deaf become a reality.  The oppressed sense a glimmer of hope that they thought had evaporated. 

As I ponder the words, I ask myself if I can still dream.  Yes, however, the dreams are different now.    I pray to be open to God’s dream for me, for us, and for our universe!

Kathleen McCloskey, SSJ is Chair of our Music Department. She is a Sister of St. Joseph who feels very blessed to teach music to students of various ages and interests.

Day 5: December 3

Reflector: Jaclyn Newns 

Image Title: Holy Ground

 

Scripture tells us about God: Creator, Maker, Designer, who establishes the earth for LIVING, for salvation to bud forth (Isaiah 45:7-8). Preparing for the coming of the Light of the World, I am called to co-create places of welcome with the Holy Spirit - kitchen tables, front porch visits, Zoom rooms, post-office lobbies - places to receive people. These spaces have less people these days, but still, they are holy ground.  While I wait eagerly for the time of housewarming gatherings and holiday potlucks, to host in a large and loving way (as I dreamed when I moved into my home shortly before the beginning of the pandemic), I am called to now be with God in my home, and to let God’s Spirit warm my house and companion my heart. I am also called to lean into solitude as an act of solidarity with all those in our world who are seeking an inn.  “O come, O come, Emmanuel.” God, you are already here, with me, with us, in the deep darkness of the heart. Embolden us to be inn-keepers and light-bearers.

 

This season, I am reading Honest Advent by Scott Erickson, a beautiful, raw and real collection of 25 images and reflections that awaken me to the wonder of God-within. “I found myself moving away from the decades of nostalgia and visual branding that I had always associated with Christmastime, and I began to meditate on this sacred story - a story about pregnancy, family, incarnation, birth, God with us - through what I had witnessed firsthand as a husband, a father, a birthing partner, a human being.” @scottthepainter The Office of Campus Ministry has a few copies of Honest Advent available. If you’re interested in reading it, send your address to me (jnewns@chc.eduand I’ll mail a copy your way.

 

Jackie Newns is the Director of Campus Ministry, who finds great joy in the intersection of art and spirituality. Currently, she is supporting the St. Raphaela Retreat Center in expanding their gift shop to include local artisans who make products that nourish the mind, body and spirit. @straphaelacenter

 

Day 4: December 2

Reflector: Maureen McLaughlin

Image Title: First Steps

Between the ages of 12 and 19 months, infants take on average over 2,000 steps in an hour and fall about 17 times (Adolph et al., 2012). A baby’s first steps are a wonder to behold: stumbling, teetering, collapsing little legs carefully place one foot in front of the other. The steps are also breathtaking, strong, and filled with pure joy. I cannot help but see the similarities between a child’s first steps to the massive hurdles we’ve had to face this year. We have fallen down, screamed and cried and then picked ourselves up over and over again to continue on. The Advent season calls us to wait. So many of us are anxiously waiting for 2020 to be over. But I believe God wants us to use the last weeks of this year to look at how far we have come. Let’s reflect on how we have adapted to new ways of walking through this world. There is no mistaking the pride in the face of a 1-year-old who can stand on his own. Let us be proud of where we are now, as individuals and as a community, in 2020.

Maureen Fisher McLaughlin is the Director of Alumni Relations at CHC. She is married to Jim McLaughlin ’08 and they are the proud parents of two boys, Miles and Seamus (pictured above)

 

Day 3: December 1 

Reflector: Kait Ryan '15

Image Title: Mess & All: God Sees

Today in Scripture we hear, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.” (Luke 10:23) We all see things and interpret them differently. Something that might seem broken or messy to us may seem whole and perfect to God. This advent season, my prayer is to stop and take time to see the world and people around me…just as God sees.

Kait is the Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at St. Mary's Church in Barnegat, NJ. She loves spending time with family and being outdoors- especially with her two dogs, Maggie and Ridley.

Day 2: November 30 

Reflector: April Fowlkes

Image Title: Kamala Harris and activist Ruby Bridges

Image Source: Artist Bria Goeller worked with T-shirt company Good Trubble to create this image of Kamala Harris casting the shadow of iconic activist Ruby Bridges. The image exploded in popularity when Harris was declared vice president-elect.

On November 14, 1968, at the age of 6, Ruby Bridges was the first African American student to integrate an elementary school in the South. Fifty-two years later, on November 7, 2020, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be the first woman and woman of color to serve in the second highest office in our country, Vice President of the United States. As we begin the season of Advent, I pray for our country and the CHC community that we continue to travel roads untraveled. That we take a moment to consider all that has happened and all that was lost. Pause to set intention with our mind, body, and spirit as individual citizens and as a community at large about how our actions today will shape and mold generations to come. May God guide our current administration's actions and decisions as they prepare to transition out of office, and may He covet and protect the incoming administration as they prepare to enter into office. May the Lord continue to make his face shine upon us here at CHC and give us peace.

April Fowlkes is the Director of Admissions for the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at Chestnut Hill College.

 

Day 1: Novemeber 29 



Reflector: Karen Wendling, '03

Image Title: Candle in the Snow (cutewallpaper.org)



I love to think of the Advent Season as a “Festival of Light,” a season of giving and sharing our “light” as we wait for the coming of hope, peace, and the ultimate light of love. We are the incarnation of holy light, carrying it within us throughout the year. Yet this year my light has often felt like a small candle, closed in a lantern, sitting alone in the bitter snow! For this advent reflection I encourage you to imagine your spiritual light as something magical and hopeful, a light that can be prayerfully shared across distances and time. Let us together brighten the unexpected snows of this season, sparking others whose lights may be dimming, and joining together to shine our light joyfully out into a darkening world.



Karen Wendling is an alumna of CHC and an enthusiastic faculty member who teaches chemistry. Karen is passionate about teaching creatively, figuring out problems, and traveling around the world.

 

 

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