November 1st is All Saints' Day, a special time to honor and celebrate all the saints, known and unknown, of the Christian Church. At St. Joan of Arc Catholic School, All Saints' Day provides an annual opportunity for students to remember those individuals who dedicated their lives to their faith and to their relationship with Jesus.
"The saints sacrificed their individual needs, endured hardships, and overcame ridicule, and they were persecuted for the Glory of God," explained Sue McMahon, first grade teacher at St. Joan of Arc. "They are the heroes of our faith. We honor the saints as role models who have gone before us to their heavenly home, but live on today because of their noble cause."
On Friday, October 31st, McMahon's first grade students at SJA celebrated the special day of remembrance by dressing up as their favorite saint. "The students also memorized a short speech about the life of the saint they'd chosen to represent," added McMahon. "In costume, each student recited the story of their saint before their parents, classmates, and teachers, and they sang a song about saints. Afterwards, students and their families enjoyed lunch together and students made crafts and played games."
The first graders' honoring of the saints has been a long-standing tradition at St. Joan of Arc. "Through the years, many students remember how proud they felt to highlight these heroes of our faith," said McMahon. "Many felt daunted to stand before the congregation, but realized the cause helped them overcome their fears. Some older students are still able to recall their speech verbatim, even after many years."
By celebrating All Saints' Day, students learn about the life of their favorite saint, learn to recall and recite important facts, and learn to recite in front of a congregation. "They learn how much effort it takes to prepare for such an event," added McMahon. "It's also good practice for showing reverence in church."
St. Joan of Arc Catholic School and Church
Pre-K through 8th grade
820 Division Street, Lisle, IL