Catholic Free Press

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Future saints

Posted By November 3, 2011 | 12:57 pm | Featured Article #3
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VISIT PHOTO GALLERIES for more pictures from ALL SAINTS DAY

By Tanya Connor

UXBRIDGE – Last weekend’s record snowfall may have left those with the luxury of power – or fireplaces – dreaming of a white Christmas. But Santa Claus isn’t coming to town yet.
Still, All Saints Day taught Nicholas Tebo something about his namesake, Saint Nicholas.
Like his first-grade classmates at Our Lady of the Valley Elementary School, Nicholas was paired with a sixth-grader to research a saint. They presented their findings at All Saints Day Mass in St. Mary Church Tuesday. Guided by sixth-grade teacher Sandra Robbins and first-grade teacher Marion Graves, the little ones dressed up like their saint – or at least donned a believable robe – and their older buddies read about their saints to the congregation.
Asked about his experience afterwards, Nicholas said it was fun “because we get to dress up.”
What did he learn about Saint Nicholas?
“That he’s real.” (Nicholas’ sixth-grade partner, Rachel Adam, had informed the congregation that in America the name of the generous saint was changed to Santa Claus.)
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
And, while Irish eyes might not be smiling at the ground’s premature wearin’ o’ the white, what did first-grader Julie Compston learn about St. Bridget?
“That she lived in Ireland.”
What else?
“Pretty.” (The write-up Julie’s partner Andrew Tatro read may not have said that, but the saint must have been beautiful – at least on the inside.)
Good looks is what Father Steven M. LaBaire challenged the congregation to take. (Father LaBaire is pastor of St. Mary’s, which sits in front of the regional school.)
After the students had spent most of the homily time talking about the past, he asked who the saints of the future will be. Offering to give viewers a preview, he disappeared from view, returned with a large mirror and held it up for them to see their reflection.
All are called to be saints, he said.
“Ever since Jesus first preached his message of love, people have followed him,” student Grace Rett said in a welcome she read at the beginning of Mass. “We look to the saints as examples for living the virtues of faith, hope and love. We thank God for all the saintly people in our lives.”
“I think it was a lot of fun because everyone likes to read at church,” sixth-grader Sophia Masciarelli said of the students’ project. “It was fun for the people in the audience because they got to learn about the saints.”
“And how we can live by them,” added her classmate Charlotte Beaudrot
Lesson taught – and caught.