Every Christmas, my big fat Sicilian family makes cannolis. It’s a big deal where I live, because the shells are homemade and the ricotta is from New York. They go alongside chocolate balls and ricotta cheesecakes on cookie plates every Winter. The tradition has evolved over the years, but now it’s just my parents and me. We took all of today to make them (and other cookies!) in my mom’s catering kitchen. Today was a day of traditions, and I loved every minute of it.  

One more special tradition took place today: Candlelight Mass. At Catalina, the weekend before finals each year, a mass is done solely by candle light. While everyone holds their candles and is dressed up and dapper for this honored tradition, a true sense of love and community is felt throughout the Rosary Chapel. Catalina’s unique familial warmth is swirled in the air with the faint candle smoke. We’re crammed into pews, tantalizing each other with candle wax, and looking forward to caroling and pie. But most of all, we’re together. It’s beautiful magic. Even though I’ll never be a student attending this mass again, I got to be an alumnae with my graduating classmates and relish in the joy of our reunion. It’s remarkable how much we’ve all grown! To think, a year ago we didn’t even know where we would be going to college, and now we’ve completed our first semester/quarter! The four of us spent hours catching up, telling stories, and reminiscing about our special time at Catalina. Here’s to traditions 🙂


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