Bringing the saints to life

Sister Gemma Legel wanted to help her students in Westland, Mich., learn about the saints in a more interactive way earlier this week. So, instead of her usual catechism class at Divine Savior Catholic Church, the students brought the parade of saints to life. They each dressed up as their chosen saint (there were several Joan of Arcs in attendance, for instance) and gave a presentation about that saint.

“We’re here to honor saints and God and celebrating All Saints,” said Sister Legel. She went on to explain the Feast of All Saints is usually observed on Nov. 1, but is not a holy day of obligation this year because it falls a day before Sunday. Instead Catholics celebrate All Souls Day Nov. 1-2, to remember the dead.

“How do you become a saint?” asked Sister Legel. “Most were ordinary people. They loved God and showed that love by loving their neighbor. We’re saints in the making.”

One by one the children came to the front of the room to tell about their saint. Kyle Broffitt, 9, of Plymouth, was St. Martin of Tours, the patron of soldiers.

“He gave it up (being a soldier),” Kyle said. “He didn’t want to do violent acts.”

Later, Kyle said he learned to honor saints and that saints can be pretty cool.

Jodi Engler thinks the process will help her children retain their lesson on the saints longer. Katie, 9, was St. Margaret of Scotland, the queen who fed orphans and the poor before she would eat. Jenny, 7, was dressed as the North American Indian, Kateri Tekakwitha, patroness of ecology and the environment.

“I liked how it brought the saints to life, put a face with the name,” Engler said.

From here.

Also along this line, in case you missed it, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s All Saints Day message exhorts us to “celebrate the [saints] whose names you know and the ones whose names you haven’t yet learned.”

As you gather to celebrate on the feast of All Saints, take with you the name of a saint whose example you have seen in action, and one whose name you don’t know, and give thanks. The appropriate companion prayer to one of thanks for the witness of other saints is that we, too, might be holy examples to those whom we meet.

From here.

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