Everyone who knows that my children attend Catholic schools was surprised that they have school today. But their schools made sure they got to church. I went to church with my younger saints-in-training at the church attached to their school. It was so full of students and parishioners that my children didn’t know I was there, but that was OK.
I enjoyed hearing a homily that was geared toward the children but not insulting to the grownups in the assembly. The deacon compared “being a saint” to “getting into the Hall of Fame.” Sports analogies are useful tools when talking to kids, and this was no exception. He talked about how Hall-of-Famers aren’t athletes who had ONE good season; they are the ones who were great through their whole careers. The same goes for the saints.
The children learned that the saints worked hard to live the Beatitudes–which they heard in today’s Gospel. They were encouraged to do their best to live the Beatitudes in their own lives, so that they, too, can become saints.
After Communion, the third grade presented their own litany of patron saints. The children had done reports on their patron saints in preparation for this day. They brought along their illustrations for the reports, and as the names of the saints were read (and we responded “Pray for us”) the children would hold up the saint’s picture. Very sweet! I know how hard these children worked, since one of the third-graders is my godchild and she told me all about her saint report.
It was great to celebrate the Feast of All Saints in a standing-room-only church full of aspiring saints.