“This little light of mine, I’m going to make it shine,” sang the entire 14-member cast of the St. Catherine Academy Christmas Pageant as they held tiny candles in their hands. And that light shone in their faces and their voices as they sang in the yearly pageant before Bishop Frank J. Caggiano and an audience of 200 people at St. Catherine Special Needs Center.
“This is the fourth time I’ve been here and it always touches my heart,” said Bishop Caggiano after the cast finished with a joyous version of Feliz Navidad. “I think it’s because we don’t come here just to watch a performance but to join these young people in prayer that is simple and authentic.” “They remind us what Christmas is all about. God didn’t stand by the advantaged; the stood by the poor and vulnerable to show the world his true face. Today we see the face of God in these young people,” he said in heartfelt remarks. The young actors processed in through the center aisle and up a ramp strung with white Christmas bulbs as they sang, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” The ceilings and walls were highlighted sprays of red and green Christmas lights.
St. Catherine student Anthony Virgile held the production together with his excellent work as narrator, while Lindy Paul played Mary and Anthony Davis played Joseph in the nativity scene. Throughout the production, audience members joined the cast in singing Christmas favorites including Angels We Have heart on High, Silent Night, and O Come All Ye Faithful. The young cast members sang a spirited version of “Go Tell It On The Mountain,” and a moving rendition of “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace.” This year’s play also included the reading of Gospel passages of the early miracles of Jesus reenacted by the students.
The production was written by Sister Eileen Boffa, RSM, and directed by Sister Cheryl Driscoll, RSM. With dramatic lighting and a bright star provided by the Quick Center of Fairfield University, the cast performed and sang the Christmas story while looking resplendent in full costume. The yearly production received a boost from the St. Patrick’s Council of the Knights of Columbus, volunteers from the Order of Malta, Hauser Equipment and Welding and members of Holy Cross Parish, where the campus is located. Helen Burland, Executive Director of St. Catherine’s, welcomed guests and thanked the staff, board and parents for all they do for the school, and said the pageant “has become a tradition at St. Catherine, which helps kickoff the Christmas season.”
Established in 1999 as a fulltime day school for students who benefit from a functional academic, social and life skills curriculum in addition to developing academic skills, St. Catherine Academy educates students ages 5-21 who are motivated to learn but unable to thrive in an inclusive setting.
St. Catherine Academy is located at 760 Tahmore Dr., Fairfield (on the grounds of Holy Cross Parish). For info call 203.540.5381. Online at: www.stcatherineacademy.org