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Letters to Loyola: A Joyful Time on Campus

December 2, 2021

Dear Loyola,

Despite the anxiety of looming exams, or perhaps because of it, December is also the most joyful time of year on campus.

When I try to explain the soul of this community to outsiders, I tell them about Sneaux. Begun years ago as a study break for students, the manufactured snow was quickly overrun by small children (including my own).  Instead of bristling and chasing them away, Loyola students welcomed them. They turned Sneaux into something else entirely, with a petting zoo, hot chocolate, Santa photos and craft stations. It just sums up the spirit of this community. (My young daughter, by the way, thinks she should be allowed on the snow before the other children, and I’ve had to explain that’s not what Jesus would do.)

Even in the thick of end-of-semester stress, we lit the Hanukkah candles last week and begin lighting the Advent Candles Sunday on the Peace Quad. This year’s supply chain issues remind us that we can prepare for the holidays without focusing on purchasing a lot of stuff, so much of which is just clutter. Instead, we remember to prepare for the darkest time of the year by lighting candles and finding goodness, by remembering why we’re all here.

My favorite way to do that is this Sunday, December 5th at 3 p.m., when Loyola students perform at Holy Name Church to ring in Christmas with their voices and instruments and blazing talent. I cannot wait, and will try very hard not to sing along inappropriately. Sneaux will be Tuesday, December 7th, at 6 p.m. in the horseshoe, where you can join Lucy, impatiently waiting her turn to throw slushy ice balls.

I hope that you can carve out time for these and so many other joyful moments in the rush of the end of the year.

Prayers and blessings,

Tania Tetlow
President