The end of the school year is exciting for all children, but in the Atrium there is even more excitement! It is a time when many of the presentations to the children require them to hold lit candles. Yes! It is true. They are shown the proper way to hold them safely and understand that if they are careless, their candle will be snuffed.
Our final Atrium presentation of this year was a presentation on the sacrament of Baptism. The story begins with telling the children how the people of Israel were waiting a long, long time for the Messiah, the Prince of Peace, the Savior, the “Light” to come into the world. One day the “Light” did come. (We light the Paschal Candle.) He was born in a stable and his parents named him Jesus. Mary and Joseph took good care of Jesus. They taught him about the scriptures. They loved him. Jesus grew to be a man and began to share his light with others. But one day, an angry mob arrested Jesus, put him on trial, and then crucified him. The “light” was snuffed out. (The Paschal Candle is blown out). His friends were very, very sad. How could they go on without him. Then on the 3rd day, Jesus rose from the dead. His light was with them again. He continued to share that light with his friends and asked them to share this light with others. Jesus’ light was shared down through the ages. The “light” was shared with our grandparents and our parents, until it finally came to us on the day of our Baptism. At this point, an individual candle is lit from the Paschal candle for each child. We say their name and tell them to receive the Light of Christ. They answer, “Thanks be to God.” Being aware of the fact that one of the girls had not yet been Baptized, I said, “Grace” (not her real name), on the day you will be Baptized, you will receive the “light”, too. She was thrilled with all of it.
Class ended a bit later. The children left with their adults, off to enjoy a wonderful summer. Not long after the final class of the year, I was approached by Grace’s grandma. She told me that Grace was so touched by this presentation, that she is begging to be Baptized. She craves to have the “Light”. The heart-warming ending to this story is that Grace and her family will journey together to receive the light of Christ at the next Easter Vigil, through the Family Initiation program. The Holy Spirit is alive and well at St. Patrick Catholic Community!
– Gerri Porteous
Coordinator of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd & Formation Resources