MABEL GIL of St. Vincent de Paul parish in Albany, previously profiled in The Evangelist for her political activism well into her 90s (see www.evangelist.org), is now 95 and in hospice care. She offered a Christmas reflection: "Jesus came to earth on Christmas Day to bring joy to us by living in our bodies and souls. The purpose of Christmas Day was only that God wished to live within each one of us. He came only for the purpose of living in me and you. That is the source of my joy at Christmas Day. It is a serious error that we have begun to think that the source of our joy is a gift from a store. The source of my gift and your gift is God Himself. He lives in me and you, talks with me, protects me and you, counsels me and came into the world on Christmas Day to fulfill this promise. Let us remember that Christmas Day makes each of us a brother or sister of the Son of God, promised from all eternity. The present from a store is merely a symbol that the God in me greets the God in you"....

St. Pius X School in Loudon­ville notes that, at a professional development day held at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons School in Schenectady, St. Pius teacher KENDRA ASTEMBORSKI and five of her eighth-graders shared about Google CS First and coding with Scratch with diocesan teachers and principals. Another teacher shared ideas about keeping middle-school students engaged during 40-minute classes when their attention span is closer to 20 minutes. Also at St. Pius, the eighth-grade class worked to earn money which they used to purchase Christmas gifts for members of the school community in need....

On Dec. 27, Christian Brothers Academy in Albany honored coach DAVID DOEMEL SR. in a pregame ceremony for attaining a record of 300 wins in his 20-year varsity basketball coaching career at CBA. The presentation took place as CBA and LaSalle Institute in Troy competed in the annual alumni basketball tournament. The coach, a CBA alumnus, taught social studies and English there and has coached the modified football team and freshman, junior varsity and varsity basketball. During his tenure, CBA has captured six Big Ten Championships and seven Section 2 Class AA titles, winning four straight sectional titles from 2008-09 through 2011-12. CBA is the only Class AA team in Section 2 to accomplish this.