St. Edmond Elementary School third-graders dressed as saints Friday while their peers read descriptions of the saints' lives to celebrate All Saints' Day.
"We celebrated mass together, and now the boys and girls each have a saint that they researched and now they're going to act them out," Danielle Rathermel, St. Edmond teacher, said. "You will meet saints from Jesus's life, and later."
Three classes of third-graders performed before parents and their schoolmates.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
St. Edmond Elementary third-grader Tyler McDowell, portraying the apostle St. Matthew, prepares to throw away the coins representing Matthew’s former occupation as a tax collector during an All Saints’ Day play at the school Friday afternoon.
The play is a yearly tradition.
"When I was a little girl at Sacred Heart school, my second-grade teacher dressed us up as saints," Rathermel said. "The tradition continues."
Owen O'Brien, a student in Rathermel's class, portrayed St. Jude Thaddeus.
"He teaches people to read ... and he was the patron of hopeless causes, and he was beaten with a pole. That's why I have a pole over there," O'Brien said. "You pray to him for your greatest needs and stuff, if you really need something."
O'Brien didn't have to speak in portraying Jude Thaddeus, only appear, while readers detailed the life of the saint.
"I'm one of the readers and I go to my part before Simon," O'Brien explained.
O'Brien said he enjoyed preparing for the play.
"I kind of wish my character had more parts. It's fun, though," he said.
Students began preparing for the play at the start of October, Rathermel said.
"The children did their saint research, and that research was published in the church bulletin," she said.
Susan Laufersweiler, St. Edmond third-grade teacher, said it was not difficult readying her students for the play.
"The kids do a really good job. They research it and find their own costumes," Laufersweiler said. "And then, just going through the parts, getting them to choral read together takes a little bit of time, but not too bad."
The students especially loved it, Laufersweiler said.
"They love being able to perform for an audience," she said. "They think it's so fun to be able to have other people come and watch them."
Laufersweiler said preparing for the play is a great experience for the students, incorporating many educational components, including public speaking.
"We did a writing component with it, so the kids had to write papers too," she said. "I also think it's a great way for them to learn about the saints and embrace their faith."