The Christmas spirit was palpable on the afternoon of December 1st in Holy Family Church, as generations of Saint Ignatius families gathered for the Christmas Benefit Concert in honor of our 150th anniversary.
CBS2 News anchor, Jim Williams, narrated while Rich Daniels and the City Lights Orchestra perfectly captured the spirit of Christmas in their musical renditions. Soloists: Catherine O’Connell, Roderick Dickson, Alfreda Burke, Shelley MacArthur Farley, Paul Marinaro and Suzanne Palmer performed a litany of well-known and loved Christmas songs. The program concluded with a remarkable sing-a-long during which one could almost feel the love, light and spirit of Saint Ignatius and Christmas wrapped up in Holy Family Church.
Many families, who frequented our popular Christmas Benefit Concerts in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, were in attendance for this special event with their grown children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. It was heartwarming to revive a well-loved tradition on the first Sunday of Advent and witness the generations of faith, family and Ignatius welcoming in the Christmas season. The smiles and obvious joy abounded, as folks jumped to their feet in a standing ovation at the conclusion of the program. It was an ovation for the musicians, and an ovation for Saint Ignatius.
It is often said that music clings to senses and can transcend us to another time. The Christmas Season, typically filled with nostalgia for traditions of time gone by, can ignite in us a sense of hope and love. The Sesquicentennial Christmas Benefit Concert, from which proceeds will benefit the Tuition Assistance Program, illustrates the best of the spirit of Christmas and the mission of Saint Ignatius. This Advent, as we await the promise of the birth of Jesus, we celebrate and pray for our Saint Ignatius families and staff who live the mission of our beloved school, and have been our lifeblood for 150 years.