Thanksgiving at Xavier

Rachel Meyer, News Writer

Xavier students enjoy their Thanksgiving meal during the 2019 school year. Nick Ireland Photo.

Most nations, regions and communities have numerous unique traditions of their own that connect its members. One of Xavier’s longest traditions has been the Thanksgiving Mass and Thanksgiving Meal. This year, Thanksgiving at Xavier, which has been a tradition since the foundation of the school in 1998, took place on November 17. The Thanksgiving Mass was celebrated differently then it was ten years ago, as the mass now incorporates a memorial focus for those who have passed. With COVID-19, last year’s mass was virtual and streamed from the chapel. However, this year’s mass resumed as the way it was prior to COVID-19. “[I am] excited to be able to gather as a community at the Table of the Lord, all together in the gym,” Mrs. Jody Esker, member of campus ministry said. Father Dennis Conway, pastor at Immaculate Conception and 2008 Xavier alumnus, was the presider for mass. The community, Padre Pio, helped plan this mass, along with campus ministry. Additionally, every year the Xavier Foundation office invites 450 to 500 families who have had a departed family member that attended LaSalle, Regis or Xavier High School to attend the Thanksgiving mass. At this year’s mass, 30 guests were present. There was a candle processional at the beginning of mass to respect those who have passed away this past year. Names of those who have passed were also shown on the screen before and after mass. Voce, one of Xavier’s choirs, provided music ministry and sang “My Flight From Heaven” during the processional. During COVID-19, the meal was different, as Thanksgiving meals were packed up and students had the option to bring them home. This year, the Thanksgiving meal returned as prior to COVID-19. The lunch staff prepared the meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, corn and more. Xavier parents also donated pies, as well as helped serve them during the meal. The meal is very popular among students and staff. “It’s really good and everyone comes together to say thanks,” said Junior Paige Denman. Students and staff were excited, after not being able to celebrate last year, to come together and be thankful.