XCE Send-off Mass
Harold Wong, Grade 7 English Teacher
Last October 27, the Grade Seven students, parents, and faculty celebrated a send off mass for the 61 participants of the Xavier China Experience. (XCE)
The air was buzzing with anticipation before the mass began. The participants, who were seated in front, were showered with attention from the parents. The participants were busily chatting among themselves, waiting for the mass to begin. Parents with cameras would often call out to their sons for a quick snapshot. The din in the High School Multi-Purpose Hall showed everyone’s excitement.
However, there was an undertone of nervousness, anxiety, and sadness. Despite the smiles and laughter, there were more than a few parents who were anxious at being separated from their sons. For many of these students, they would be separated from their parents for the first time in their lives, and for no less than six weeks. During the mass itself, many of the parents and some of the students would shed a few tears at the thought of being separated.
Fr. Guy Guibelondo, the mass celebrant, picked up on this nervousness and tried to lighten the mood through humor and reassurances. Fr. Guibelondo himself had been with the XCE participants last year, and speaking from experience, shared how it would be like for the next few weeks. He highlighted the character building experiences that the participants would encounter. He even drew a few chuckles and nervous laughs when he said, “Everything will be all right – this is for the mothers.”
The mass was the final activity that the Grade Seven batch had together before the XCE participants left for Xiamen, China. It was an occasion of smiles, tears, laughter, and anticipation of a great journey for the next six weeks.
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