GREENVILLE — St. Mary’s School students and staff created a live Nativity for the annual Christmas program, Monday, Dec. 12.
School Principal Vern Rosenbeck said this was the first year in a long time for the event. “
“I was going through old school files, this summer, and saw photos of a Live Nativity from the past. I thought, ‘What a great idea!’ I talked to the teachers and we all agreed – it was a great idea.”
Father John R. White started the program with a blessing and a reminder of the original living Nativity. In 1223, St. Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first living Nativity scene in a cave near Greccio, Italy, at midnight Mass in an effort to make Christmas more meaningful for the townspeople. Look upon this scene at home and in churches and begin these early days of Christmas with Christ in your heart, he said.
“God of every nation and people, from the very beginning of creation you have made manifest your love: when our need for a Savior was great you sent your Son to be born of the Virgin Mary. To our lives he brings joy and peace, justice, mercy, and love. Lord, bless all who look upon this manger; may it remind us of the humble birth of Jesus, and raise up our thoughts to him, who is God — with — us and Savior of all, and who lives and reigns for ever and ever,” White said.
Students dressed in costume walked from a corner of the school grounds to the wooden stable as the story unfolded. Guests crowded together, to keep warm, and to see their children, friends and family members re-create that special night. Folks joined the students in singing Christmas carols. The school’s first and second grade teacher Kathy Ayette has a half-hour music class on Mondays. Students have been practicing since October for the Live Nativity.
“This was the first time we’ve ever done harmony,” she said. “Anytime I want them to sing, they sing their little hearts out. I was very pleased.”
Ayette said preparation for the event was a combined effort between all of the teachers: Casey Dietz, Kathy Pierre, Diane Blocher, and Amy Hadden.
“We practiced three times outside and one inside, just in case of bad weather,” Rosenbeck said. “I’m hoping the kids will realize the true meaning of Christmas — the birth of Jesus.”
Rosenbeck thanked the following for their contributions to the Live Nativity:
Beth Klopfentein, from Botkins for the costumes; Casey Dietz for getting the costumes and for getting the skids to build the stable; Steve Blocher, Matt Blocher and Rick Pierri for building the stable; Sherry Myers for the the star, lights and the backing for the stable; Darrel Bingham for his help in getting everything set up; Bach to Rock for the PA System; Parents for making the cookies; Nathan Rammel for bringing in the sheep, cow and donkey; Mike Pressnall and Sylvia Kelly-Pressnall for decorating the cafeteria; Flaig Lumber Co., of New Madison, who donated the lumber; and the staff and students for all of their hard work in making this happen.
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