Once a year, on the first day of November, we celebrate the beautiful feast of All Saints Day. On October 31st, in honor of this happy feast, St. Thomas More Academy staff and helpers from the church hosted an All Saint’s Day party. Children of the academy and all the children of the parish were invited to dress up as a saint of their choice and join in on the fun games and activities throughout the night.
The students of the academy began the night by showing off their posters they each had made with information on their saint. They were happy to answer any questions as teachers and parents walked around and enjoyed the children’s work and learn about their saints.
Despite the warm weather, children around the age of kindergarten to 8th grade all had smiling faces as they posed for pictures and participated in games in their excellent costumes. The costumes were wonderful to see, from a little St. Thomas More decked out in an authentic-looking gold chain and fur wrap, St. Therese of the Child Jesus in a little habit and red roses to St. Maximillian Kolbe in a prisoner’s outfit and St. Magnus in a kilt! What a wonderful sight it was to see a bunch of little saints running around.
The children joined in games such as Halo Toss, supervised by Mrs. LoPresti, where the children aimed to throw their glow stick rings onto pumpkins of fun shapes and sizes. Pumpkins, some with painted faces, sat upon a fall decorated porch as children tossed their rings on (or less fortunately around) the stems of the pumpkins. Neighbor to the halo toss Ms. Monica Hohman helped spin and direct the children in their attempt to “pin the halo” on the saint! On a picture done by one of the older students of the academy, the children did their best to pin a halo onto the saint after being spun around and blindfolded. Next to that, they had a chance to win a prize in “St. Peter’s fishing Adventure”. Mrs. Simonton supervised as the children tossed in their fishing poles and reeled in lots of fun prizes!
As the bell rang the children of various groups moved onto their next assigned activity. They could join Mrs. Bernadette Campbell in delicious cookie decorating in “Our Lady’s kitchen”. They then got to reap the rewards of their work and enjoy the cookies. They were a wonderful treat for the children while they competed and ran about.
If they managed to stay clean from frosting cookies, they had less luck at Miss Ranieri’s “Balloon Shaving”. The motive was to work as a team to shave a shaving cream-covered balloon as quickly as they could without popping their balloon.
After that Mrs. Rhea guided the children in an egg toss and race, where the children competed to get their egg (and themselves) safely to the end of the race on their spoon.
They then joined Mr. Stephen Simonton for a “Javelin throw”. Showing off their throwing skills, they aimed to get a lance through hanging hoops.
Miss Anna Bellows delighted her groups of children with a musical competition. The suspense built up as the broom landed in front of each child as the last note played until only one little saint standing. After receiving a prize, the children were excited to see what came next as they moved to their next station when the bell rang.
The children were A-maze-d when they saw Miss Rita Angele’s “Maze to Heaven”. Miss Angele and her students transformed her portable into a maze with twists and turns (and surprise dead ends!) of fun. Some of her students even hid to surprise other maze goers!
If they were able to escape from the maze, the children were then wrapped up in fun (and toilet paper) in “Lazarus’ Run”. Mr. Cassman oversaw as the children raced mummified up and down and all-around.
The children all enjoyed the fun from around 6:00 pm to about 7:45 pm., at which time they ended the night with ‘trunk-or-treating'. Parent’s and other enthusiastic helpers displayed beautiful trunks honoring saints of all kinds. There was Noah’s Arc (before and after the flood), a candle-lit tribute to all saints with plentiful beautiful statues, and even Saint Anthony preaching to the fishes! Congratulations to Mr. And Mrs. Jeff Rhea for winning a bucket of alcohol with their trunk dedicated to Father Damien!
The children were able to answer more questions about their saint and fill their bags with candy as they went around to each trunk - a wonderful end to the night.
With all the gracious help and hard work, especially to Miss Rita Angele who orchestrated and helped immensely behind the scenes, the night was a marvelous success!
The children were able to learn about several new saints and speak about their own chosen saints. It was a beautiful way for parents, adults, teachers, priests and children to be involved in and celebrate the splendid feast of All Saints.