The Saints Come Marching In

As a Catholic School Veteran, I have a special place in my heart when it comes to All Saints Day.  As a kid, I remember going to mass on this Holy Day of Obligation and sometimes it had a big impact on me.  I can recall several times when I felt so inspired, that I conjured up a plan to become a saint one day.  Man, they would really dig me then!

Fast forward 40 years and now my youngest kid attends the same school as I did.Two years ago, I attended his school’s All Saints’ Day Mass, which also gave me the opportunity to see him perform in the choir.  Sitting in a pew as I’ve done a million times before, I was filled with memories of those instances when I aspired to be a saint.  It made me feel like a kid again and for an instant, I saw the world through his young eyes.  For as much as the saint stories inspired me, I thought they would be a perfect bridge between the Faithful Kid and Myself.  Hit with a lightening bolt idea, I affirmed that Owen and I could complete a creative project together celebrating the lives of child-friendly saints.  At the time I thought we should do a book, with saints chosen by Owen and illustrations completed by me.  When the Boards came into my life, it was a natural extension that we create these together.

He chose St. Francis, Mary, St. Nicholas, St. Therese and St. Joseph.  I chose St. Lucia and St. Joseph of Cupertino. Currently, there are 6 in production with more to come.  Today is Halloween, which means tomorrow is naturally All Saints Day. I recall  my Father sitting at the kitchen table, rattling off Catholic Trivia teaching us the ways of the Church.  I appreciate the Catholic Traditions that all contribute to my story.  As fate would have it, my kid has a solid faith, as I imagine I did as a child.  While I had a strong childhood faith, his surely surpasses mine.  He is even award-winning in this pursuit.  Just last month he was selected by his teacher as possessing the virtue of faith, beyond any other student in his class.  For this honor, he received acknowledgement on the altar during an all-school mass, a printed certificate and a trip to the church basement for cider and doughnuts.  Tomorrow I launch my Saint Boards, in celebration of where I’ve been and hopeful in where I’m going.  I’m grateful that my son and I can share in this tradition together.  I know his presence makes me a better person.

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