NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP >> Continuing a tradition dating back at least 29 years, 46 first graders at Saint Andrew School marched into the school’s gym Wednesday morning dressed as their favorite saints.
St. Michael the Archangel was there with his sword and shield. So was St. Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, and St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
St. Joan of Arc was there holding up a sword in victory. Also joining the parade were Mary, Mother of God, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
By far, and not a surprise, the most popular saint this year was St. Andrew, the patron saint of the school and the local parish. He carried his signature diagonal cross.
For the girls, the most popular was Mary, Mother of God.
For the school’s Feast of All Saints Day program, the kids not only dressed up as their favorite saint, they shared a few words about their good and prayerful deeds.
One by one they stepped to the microphone to share information about each saint. They also sang several songs, much to the delight of parents and friends who gathered in the gym for the special and memorable program.
As the students processed out of the gym, they sang their signature song, “When the Saints Go Marching In,” with one minor word change. They substituted the word “in” for “out”
causing more than a few parents to chuckle.
First grade teacher Ginny Hill couldn’t have been more proud of the kids.
“They were all really good,” she said. “They each brought feeling to the part and became that saint.
“I love this,” added Hill, who has been teaching at the school for nearly three decades. “I never get tired of it. I especially love it when we present it to the school and all the students join in singing the songs. It was so loud in there yesterday,” she said.
The program, she said, is all about teaching the kids what the saints did, how to think and act like the saints. “We study the saints. Each child picks a Saint. They study them and then the create their costumes.
“Everybody can be a Saint,” said Hill. “You don’t have to be a recognized saint. If you live a good life, if you’re kind and you do what’s inside you you are acting like a saint.”