One of the blessings of being a Catholic school is having a Christ-centered Christmas will all the joy and tradition. And that tradition includes Christmas Trees.

This year two trees stood in our St. Joseph Elementary School, but they weren’t decked with bells, bulbs, and trinkets. Instead, they were covered with students’ prayers.

At first glance, these prayers appeared as uniform construction paper cutouts, hung with string. Easy to overlook, until you lean in and read.

Words and drawings, unique as fingerprints, cover each cutout. No two ornaments are alike, just as no two prayers are alike.

The idea came from St. Joseph Administrative Assistant Lee Papke and her mother, longtime BCACS volunteer, Pauline Friend, known to the children as “Mrs. Friend”. They saw it in a Hallmark Christmas movie.

“I don’t remember the title,” Mrs. Papke said. “The tree was something the community in the movie were doing, and I thought we could do that here.”

Mrs. Friend led the creative charge, cutting over 200 ornaments in several different shapes, lacing yarn through each one, and then giving them in batches to each classroom.

“They told the students that for our Christmas tree, instead of using traditional ornaments, we would love for you to write a wish or a prayer and that is how we will decorate our school,” St. Joseph Administrative Assistant Jeanine Winkler said.

Some children colored the ornaments, some wrote prayers, some wrote wishes, but all of them did it themselves.

“Many times kids will ask what they should write and why, and the teachers will have to do some coaching, but as you can tell by what’s written on them, the kids just wrote from their heart,” Mrs. Winkler said.

Reading just one prayer is impossible. The innocence and the sweetness of these prayers prove why the Lord wants us to enter the Kingdom as children.

Need an instant shot of Christmas Spirit?

Read on…

And one last one for all you long-suffering Detroit Lion fans…

Merry Christmas from our BCACS Family to you and yours!


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Questions? Call Cathy Erskine at 269.963.1131