Written by: Denise Serafini on Sunday, February 14, 2016
Our first event at St. Alban Roe Church in St. Louis was totally run by and for school children. Sister Margaretta Dalton, prepared a pared down version of the program and the children were involved in the narration and presentation of each meditation. They had prepared their own symbol for each element of the program including a crown of thorns, a spear, a flog, a picture of the Holy Face, a mock burial cloth and other elements to enhance the children’s understanding of what they were presenting. They processed into the church holding their symbols high along with the Knights of Columbus Color Guard. They held them up again for each meditation. Sister Mediatrix provided the music and one of the young girls assumed the role of cantor and the entire event was awe inspiring. These kids were totally engaged!
One thing that I noted as I watched this unfold is the relationship that each of the color guard members established with the child they were paired with for the procession and meditation pieces. They made small talk in the back while they waited for the event to begin, walked down the aisle proudly with their respective relic (carried by the 4th Degree Knights) and symbol (carried by the child) next to them and then they sat together waiting for their cue to lift the relic and symbol on high during the meditation. Each gave the other an added bit of confidence. When it was over I watched them give each other words of thanks and congrats for a job well done. Great stuff.
The next day after we had the honor of being with the school children at Assumption School. All I can say is WOW. These kids really know their faith. They asked great questions, were extremely reverent during veneration and many of them brought their parents back later in the day. The school sponsors an incredibly attended fish fry on Friday’s in Lent. Even at 5:00 the line was so long, Jean and I just couldn’t believe it. The parents and the school children, as you can imagine, are heavily involved in managing the preparation and serving. But not to be deterred, school children that were involved in the afternoon session were dragging their parents out of the fish fry dinner back to the evening event. Two of them came in close to the end of evening veneration and told us we couldn’t take it down until they got their parents to come over. So we held up on the packing to accommodate them and I think it became a real teaching moment for the parents, with the kids explaining and Father Tom piping in for added clarification. A definite turn on the parent-child relationship unfolded for us with Jean right in the mix.