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Christmas 2020 for a Catholic Olympian

Writer and copyeditor Simone Delochan contacted Olympian Andrew Lewis (AL) to find out a little about the traditions in his family he most enjoyed and how he intends to spend Christmas 2020, given COVID-19.

Christmas Traditions
Andrew: The recent period of my life, within the last five to six years, I have picked up some new
traditions, which I have encouraged my family to take part in. The first is that we have been
celebrating Christmas Mass, and I love Christmas Mass, because for me in particular, church is not
only a place of worship, but a place of gratitude, and meditation, and quietness. Peace in my heart is
what I find most of the time, whether Mass is going on or not. I love to bring the family together for
Christmas Mass. We have been doing that down the islands, for many years. I think last year was the first year we weren’t able to do it. Christmas Mass down the islands on the ocean, is very, very
special to me. Mass regardless at Christmas time is a special time.

As well as on Christmas Day, I love to start my day off, by going to Living Waters [Community], and
helping the Living Waters Community pack food for all those who don’t have the opportunity to
have a lovely Christmas. It is really a beautiful way to start my Christmas day. Christmas is a time for me in particular, to amplify gifts of giving, and love. In some case that love is food, and sometimes that love is actual physical gifts, presents. Starting my day at Living Waters is really important to me, and after that going off to see many families.
At Christmas I try to see as many people as possible, family and friends….spending the day with all
these other lovely individuals, that I consider to be my loved ones; that’s a really special tradition to

Andrew: This year, right now I am on the Canary Islands in Spain, at my training base, continuing my preparation for the Olympics next year, but because of COVID restrictions, and the borders in
Trinidad being closed, I decided to spend Christmas overseas. My wife and I will be in Canada
spending a winter Christmas. I have never had a winter Christmas, so this year, my dream will come
true. My plans are to have a nice quiet evening, a nice quiet Christmas Day, celebrating it with a
Mass, just my wife and I. I am guessing our families would be coming on virtual platforms, to share
their different Christmas experiences.

Andrew: The world is going to throw nasty things at us all the time, very discouraging things, things that will make us not happy, not enlightened, not fulfilled, discouraged. It is what we do with what the world throws at us. As we look at Jesus who was crucified—from my understanding, that’s what was thrown at Him—He was crucified to show us, that while they held him down, while they crucified Him, He didn’t fight it. He peacefully let it be and sacrificed Himself to show us that whatever is thrown at us, allow it to create wellbeing and stay true to ourselves.

I want all the Catholic community, for this Christmas, to ask, ‘What’s being thrown at me?’, ‘What is
this world bringing me today that makes it hard for me to see how this can be turned into
wellbeing?’ This Christmas time, this time of celebration, pray to Him, to help you see wellbeing in
those messages that are coming your way because God is in everything, every single thing. We need
to find the God in those areas where we can’t see Him.

Merry Christmas to you all. May you have all the love and light that you need. A loving Christmas to
all of you in the Catholic community. Spread the love, help one another, support one another, and
let’s continue to work toward the journey of all going to Heaven.