Friday, November 30, 2012
St. Nicholas Institute - Ho Ho Holy
I got the most recent issue of Our Sunday Visitor and read with interest an article about Father Joseph Marquis and the St. Nicholas Institute he created.
Father Marquis founded the Institute in response to Pope Benedict XVI's Year of Faith - though he has been active as a Santa for more than 40 years. Indeed, he's been inducted into the Santa Claus Hall of Fame.
From the site:
Open to the same Spirit who animated the life of the original "Santa Claus", the St. Nicholas Institute offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity for the integrated formation of professionals who will bring the person of St. Nicholas of Myra to life in our day.
The St. Nicholas Institute is a multi-day seminar designed to empower faith-filled candidates with the tools needed to convincingly portray both St. Nicholas and the "elfin" Santa Claus in a wide variety of venues; whether religious or secular.
Nicholas as Our Model
Inspired by the selfless life of St. Nicholas of Myra, and the noble traditions associated with him, we seek to affirm the dignity of all persons as unique, unrepeatable gifts from God as we embody the joy and peace that flows from the Babe born in Bethlehem.
Openness to the "Christmas Spirit"
Since the "Christmas Spirit" and the Holy Spirit are one in the same, we continually pray that we may be open to the very Selfsame Source that animated the life of the original "Santa Claus"; St. Nicholas.
As spiritual successors of St. Nicholas, we exercise a special compassion for: the poor (material or spiritual poverty), the orphaned, the sick, the marginalized and the forgotten.
Love for Children
Whether dressed in the guise of the benevolent bishop from Myra or a fur clad "elf", we will treat each and every child (and "the young at heart") with the same integrity, sensitivity and unconditional love that characterize "jolly old St. Nicholas".
Living our Core Values says: "Christmas"
There's plenty to explore at the site for lovers of Santa/St. Nicholas (including this Santa's helper).
Pax et bonum