A living communion of saints

The halls of Angelus Academy in Springfield were filled with saints of all sizes Oct. 30 for the school's annual All Saints Day celebration. It is the one day a year students trade in their uniforms for habits, robes, armor and angel wings to become a living communion of saints.

The day began similar to any other day at Angelus, with the whole school gathered in the chapel. Parents watched as each eighth-grader in costume spoke about the life of the saint they represented and why they chose their saint.

"I chose St. James because I want to pray to him, look up to him and be more like him in the future," said eighth-grader Isabel Frelk. "He had great faith and loyalty."

After the presentations, the younger students went to their classrooms to give their own saintly speeches for their parents. The exercise provided a public speaking opportunity for the students and also helped their classmates and parents learn about different saints and their virtues.

"It has always been part of the mission of Angelus to celebrate the embodiment of virtue," said Betty Joe Lash, director of recruitment at Angelus. "We want the students to have a deep appreciation of the heroic virtues of the saints."

After the presentations, students enjoyed crafts, games and snack time. Eighth-graders patiently guided the younger students through saint-themed activities, such as a game of sharks and minnows, renamed Christians and Romans.

The little saints at Angelus ended the day in the chapel by joining all the saints and angels in heaven at a special All Saints Day Mass.

"I get so moved by seeing all the kids dressed up as saints during Mass knowing that this is where we are all headed," said Lash.

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© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015