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All the Saints Plus One

santos-brignano

All Saints' Day Celebration in Brignano Gera d'Adda, Bérgamo (Italy), November 1st, 2013.

November 1st, All Saints Day, is one of the most beautiful feast days that the Church celebrates.  But, unfortunately, not all Christians know this and some dedicate it to celebrating Halloween.  To spread the knowledge of the great variety and richness of the saints and the joy of being able to count on the help, the intercession and the company of these great friends and models, in Brignano Gera d'Adda (Bérgamo, Italy) we organized two activities: a get-together for girls and a party in the oratory for all the little kids and not so little kids.

santos-brignano

The get-together began after the 9:30 a.m. mass in the parish; the day welcomed us with a bright sun, a great gift of the Creator.  We began with some songs to "warm up" and to get to know each other.  They were 26 girls in all.  Later we had some games, both organized and free.  Afterwards we went to the chapel to offer the day to the Lord and to Our Lady and to have a time of prayer, remembering the saints who have gone before us and who show us the way to reach heaven.

After prayer, we prepared a dessert for after lunch: bananas dipped in chocolate and decorated with sprinkles. Delicious! We confirmed this when we ate them after our lunch of sandwiches, taking advantage of the sun that shined on the patio.

santos-brignano

In the afternoon we made a craft: a "stained-glass window" of a saint to hang on the window.  The get-together finished with the game "4 things to be holy", in which each team had to discover its secret saint.  As the team won the challenges or games related to the things that we need to be a saint, it discovered facts about the secret saint. They were all relatable and attractive models for a girl who wants to be holy.

Our get-together was prolonged with the party in the Oratory (the youth center of the parish).  Fr. Francesco, the vicar of the youth of the parish, and the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother thought of the initiative "All the Saints plus one".  We invited all the kids of the parish to come during the afternoon of November 1st dressed as their favorite saint.  They could not let anyone know who their saint was, since the rest would have to guess it.

festa-oratorio

The whole week they were searching like crazy on the internet; in some cases the whole family got together to decide on what saint he would dress up as.  They discovered that they knew very little of these great models or "heroes of truth", as Fr. Francesco defined them.

60 kids came, dressed as saints, some easier to guess than others: martyrs, doctors of the Church, bishops, religious, young saints... even Fr. Francesco had transformed into one of his favorite saints, and with his cassock, sash and cane, went limping around like St. Ignatius of Loyola.

After identifying the participants, we divided the assembly in two teams, mixing up kids and parents, and the game began of "Guess the Saint".  We projected a drawing of a saint with some object that identified him, and if they did not guess the saint, we gave 3 hints to guess right.  We went through 25 saints.  To give an example: 1- This is a martyr from the early Church; 2- They beheaded her; 3- Patron saint of musicians... Saint Cecilia!  It was very exciting to see everyone- children, adults, youth, grandparents..., absorbed in the game trying to guess the saint. After it all they came to the conclusion that they knew very little of the lives of the saints and that they should inform themselves more about them.

festa-oratorioThe party finished with 6 piñatas prepared by some youth of the parish and a snack with cakes that some mothers and catechists prepared.  There was a very good environment and everyone left very happy and excited to do it again next year.  And next year even the parents will dress up as their favorite saint...

-Servant Sisters of Brignano Gera d’Adda, Bérgamo (Italy).

See the Photo Album of the girls' get-together

See the Photo Album of the party in the oratory

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