Jesuit Center Adventures into Advent with Daily Emails

The Class of 2020 Gateway displays Christmas colors.

By Kyra Krzywicki, Staff Writer

The days are getting shorter and the end-of-semester stress is getting higher, but the Advent
season is looking merry and bright at the University of Scranton.

The Jesuit Center is giving members of the University community the chance to join an Advent Devotional email list as a spiritual resource for those who want to increase, refresh or kick off their prayer and reflection time this holiday season.

Executive Director of the Jesuit Center Ryan Sheehan said the Center has sent out these seasonal emails, which contain essays from the University’s very own Jesuit priests, faculty, students and more, since 2017 when the Rev. Pat Rogers, S.J. first began the tradition.

Sheehan also said the Devotionals are a communal resource for the University that encourage support and unity.

“The Advent Devotionals are an opportunity for members of our community to share time each morning of Advent in fellowship, gratitude, and reflection. They are also an opportunity for individuals to share their insight by reflecting on the Mass readings of the day, family traditions, or simply general reflections on the Christmas season,” Sheehan said.

Student Government President Clara Downey gets involved in the seasonal Devotionals by writing reflections of her own.

Downey has written in two Devotionals before this year including the 2021 Advent email chain and the 2022 Lenten email chain, and she said the reflections can apply to all Royals.

“The Advent Devotionals are particularly important to all campus groups because outside of the Scripture is real, raw reflection of the Advent season,” Downey said.

Junior Shannon Bunn is a work-study student at the Jesuit Center, and she said she’s excited to see how the Devotional affects her faith this Advent.

“I think that the Advent Devotional can bring something new to this Advent season. I believe it will help to guide me in my faith,” Bunn said.

With finals week and moves back home quickly approaching, it might seem daunting to add one more thing to your daily to-do list.

Downey said adding these brief reflections to your holiday routine can be a helpful tool for coping with the extra stress of this season.

“The holidays can be stressful for many, and these Devotionals often provide readers with experiences they may be able to relate to or connect with,” Downey said.

Prayer and quiet reflection time might not come easy to everyone, but Downey said the Devotionals can help foster that inner stillness.

“For those who practice or may be looking to, the Advent Devotionals are often helpful in guiding prayer and in focusing on various aspects of faith throughout the Advent season,” Downey said.

The Jesuit Center team hopes the Devotionals provide an outlet for community members to share in the joy of the season together amidst the shorter days, homesickness and holiday stress.

“It is our hope that they give people the opportunity to reflect and find inspiration each morning through the University of Scranton community,” Sheehan said.

To sign up for the Advent Devotionals and add a layer of spiritual growth to your holiday season, go to