Blue Jays Show the Spirit of Thanksgiving Through a Timeless Tradition

Posted November 27, 2013 / Last updated December 4, 2013

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Upon entering Jesuit High School, each Blue Jay learns the Prayer for Generosity, written by St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. As students learn the prayer, they reflect upon Ignatius’ request “to give and not to count the cost…”

This line in particular embodies one of the school’s greatest, most meaningful traditions — the Thanksgiving Drive. The drive is an opportunity for Blue Jays to embody the humble service that God calls each individual to perform. Through the Thanksgiving Drive, and other service occasions, Blue Jays learn to be men of faith and men for others.

Basket Preparation and Delivery

Freshmen Nikhi Gogineni and Trey Hoard work together to move a Thanksgiving basket to the delivery car.

Freshmen Nikhi Gogineni and Trey Hoard work together to move a Thanksgiving basket to the delivery car.

This year’s drive began before 6 a.m. at Robért Fresh Market. Students and faculty met there to purchase the perishable goods needed to complete the baskets. Many Blue Jays collected non-perishable items for one month prior to the drive.

After shopping, students and faculty members return to campus to begin organizing and packing their boxes for delivery. Each homeroom prepared three or more baskets for delivery. Several clubs, athletic teams, and organizations also got together to prepare additional baskets. Alumni, led by the Class of 1983, also assist by providing one turkey for each basket. Some individual classes also provide baskets of their own. Many alumni and their families, with the help of the Alumni Association, came to campus Tuesday night to help pack boxes for needy families throughout the metro area.

At 8 a.m., the school community gathered in the Chapel of the North American Martyrs for the Thanksgiving prayer service. Senior Chris Fasone spoke to the student body how participating in the Thanksgiving drive has affected him. Mr. Taylor Bacques ’09, Alumni Service Corps member and assistant Cross Country coach, also spoke to the group of students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni gathered in the chapel. Afterwards, the crowd left the chapel and took off in all directions across the city to deliver more than 400 baskets to the homes of those who would not otherwise enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.

The annual Thanksgiving Drive has been conducted by the students of Jesuit since 1927, and possibly earlier, when the Sodality placed boxes in each classroom for the collection of food items for the city’s poor.

Today it is organized and executed by the students under the guidance of Kevin Murphy ’00, director of the school’s Service Projects Program. Many alumni return to their alma mater each year and join current students in this timeless tradition.

Thanksgiving Day Mass

The entire Jesuit community is invited to celebrate Mass Thanksgiving Day at 10 a.m. in the Chapel of the North American Martyrs