Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 10, 2007
Homeschoolers' pageant places Jesus back in Christmas
Taking pages from John Paul II and St. Luke, families recreate the original sacred story
By ALICIA AMBROSIO
- WCR photo by Alicia Ambrosio
Wiseman David Lacy
"I didn't dumb it down at all," Jewell told the WCR.
Once the script was finished, she went online, turning to the support website for Catholic homeschooling parents to which she belongs. "I started posting things on the site in April, saying 'This is what I'm gonna do. Does any one want to participate?'"
Although it was a struggle at first to get willing participants, little by little the idea grew and parents got excited about what Jewell was doing. All the pieces started falling into place.
A total of 38 children, including a baby born Oct. 24 who will play Jesus and John the Baptist, are set to participate in the play.
One child's family drives their son in from Fort Saskatchewan for the weekly rehearsals. Another woman, whose children are not even in the play, put in 40 hours of sewing to help make costumes. A friend of Jewell's, who works for a concrete pouring company, used his equipment and giant pieces of Styrofoam to create pieces for the set. Ron Dickson, a local realtor, donated $430 for the rental of the theatre.
"There were a lot of coincidences that happened that make me feel like this is meant to be," Jewell said. Another homeschooling mother happened to be a music teacher on maternity leave. She is set to play the piano along with a trumpeter and violinist, both homeschool students.
"It really clicks on all levels," she said. "Instead of worrying about what presents to buy, suddenly a family has to worry about what the angel Gabriel said to Mary, because their child has to learn those lines. It really hits home for the adults too."
Jewell said the first time "it clicked" for her was when another mother found and brought in a real manger to use on stage. A friend's baby will appear as the baby Jesus.
Looking at the manger, and thinking of her friend's newborn child, Jewell's reaction was, "Oh, that's kind of rough, I don't know if I wanna put a baby in there. Then I realized that this was a real manger, and this was what Jesus slept in. That really brings it home."
"This is a way of putting Jesus as the focal point at Christmas and focus on the gift that he is to us this month," said Laurie Lacy, whose four children are all in the play.
- WCR photo by Alicia Ambrosio
Even angels need a break! Leanne Lacy, age 5, one of the choir of angels, entertains herself while waiting for her cue.
The Lacy family, who attend St. Thomas More Parish, sat down together as a family and decided to participate in the play. While the kids only have to learn their lines, Lacy has to organize four kids and seven costumes and help all four learn their parts, an effort she said is well worth it.
Mary Morris, a mother of five, understood exactly where Jewell was coming from, and why this play was so important.
Morris was so excited she went ahead and put together a two-page write-up for everyone participating in the play, explaining how Karol Wojtyla used drama to preserve the Polish culture and traditions, and how this Nativity play follows in those footsteps.
"In some ways, the times we are living in are similar to when Karol Wojtyla was a young man, involved in drama. In our country, we, as Christians, aren't suppressed by guns and cannons, but we are surrounded by a culture that is not Christian.
"Most are apathetic about religion; they really have no place for God in their lives. And there are many that try to actually suppress us, are against our morals and beliefs," Morris says in her write-up.
Morris reminds students, "You are making a statement about your faith - you are bringing the Word to life, through drama."
Any proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Campus Pro-Life.
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