Yule Log celebration unites campus and community

By Matt Campbell
December 4, 2003

Angelina Wagner

Winter coats draped the backs of every seat, as family and friends from the surrounding community filled the cafeteria. The burning of the Yule Log brought everyone out into the brisk cold, standing outside the mansion. President Iadarola had the honor of lighting her candle then passing the flame to everyone as the crowd circled the blaze.

The evening started in the cafeteria where the tables were decorated with holly and candles making for a Christmas-like dinner. Students and friends sat elbow to elbow as they ate the turkey, ham and stuffing. Six families from the nearby Colony Shelter intermingled with the students. The shelter works to keep the families together so they do not have to separate into different foster homes. Annette Owens-Johnson, shelter manager, said, “We keep them together as families until they become stable.” The shelter has a 90 day program where they work with the families on housing, education and self-sufficiency. Gwendolyn Neal, transitional housing case manager, said, “We do whatever we need to do to get families stabilized. When the students come from Cabrini they really make a great impact on the children’s lives.”

Cabrini and the rest of the community moved from the cafeteria to the mansion entrance where the traditional Yule Log was lit on fire. Father Michael Bialecki said a few words as the crowd stood holding lit candles watching the Yule Log spit ambers into the air.

Christmas carols followed up the ceremonial Yule Log burning. The community gathered in Grace Hall where carols were sung with the tune of a guitarist.

Ending the night’s festivities, children lined up to take swings at a pi

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Matt Campbell

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