St. Kilian's Community School, Ballywaltrim, Bray

Wigilia, December 13th 2017

Fri, Jan 5th, 2018

Wigilia 2017

On the evening of December 13th, 2017, the Polish community of St Kilian's CS came together at the school, to celebrate Wigilia, Polish Christmas Eve. The event was the brainchild of Ms Monika Uí Annaidh, a native of Poland, who joined St Kilian's as a Maths teacher in September 2017.

In the weeks prior to the event, Ms Uí Annaidh was helped, with planning and preparation for the event, by a large group of students, parents and teachers. Good use was made of WhatsApp in coordinating everyone's efforts, and everyone worked hard to ensure that the evening was well publicised.

Guests arrived from 6.00pm, and were led along the darkened, candle-lit corridor to the School Library, which had been transformed by the students involved. Everywhere was festively decorated, with a Polish theme, with the centrepiece being a magnificent dining table to seat the sixty guests present. A group of musicians provided entertainment with traditional Polish music and songs.

In the Polish tradition, events began with everyone present sharing the Eucharist with one another, while sharing greetings and blessings for Christmas and the New Year. Following this, guests shared a wonderful meal, which had been prepared by the families themselves. The tradition with Wigilia is that the food is mostly vegetarian, with some fish sometimes involved. Desserts and cakes were also both delicious and plentiful. Afterwards, everyone joined in singing traditional Polish Christmas carols.

Ms Uí Annaidh and Mr John Murphy, Principal, both spoke and thanked everyone who had made the evening such a wonderful and memorable success. Mr Murphy spoke about the many characteristics and values that  Polish and Irish people share. He paid tribute to the many Polish students, both past and present, and to their families for the significant contribution that they have made to St Kilian's. He talked about how 'community' is at the centre of everything that happens in the school and how the Wigilia celebration had been such a wonderful example of this. He reserved special praise and thanks for Ms Uí Annaidh, whose hard work and enthusiasm had ensured that the evening had been such a special and memorable one.

Everyone present on the night is already looking forward to Wigilia 2018!

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