Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Celebrating Halloween with the Saints

St John the Evangelist Parish in Horsham celebrated on Saturday 30 October a very successful 'All Hallows in Horsham' family party held in the church hall.

Fr Terry with St Albert the Great, Patron
Saint of Scientists

Fr Terry Martin, the Parish Priest explained, "The festival of Halloween has been growing alarmingly in popularity over recent years and now seems to be promoted in shops and towns almost as much as Easter or even Christmas! In common with the ministers of other churches in Horsham and with the diocese of Arundel & Brighton, I felt concerned about this mass promotion of what is essentially a celebration of the forces of evil and darkness. It was time to reclaim the true Christian rather than the supposed pagan origins of this festival, and to celebrate instead the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of so many inspirational men and women throughout the ages. Therefore we asked everyone to dress, not as a ghoul or a ghostie, but as their favourite saint."

Invitations were tucked into the parish newsletter at Sunday Mass and Fr Terry wrote to each family at both the local Catholic primary schools, resulting in a pleasing turnout of assorted saints on the day. Mums and dads had done their children proud with costumes; saints in attendance ranged from Biblical characters such as St John the Baptist, through martyrs of Roman times like St Lucy and all the way up to figures from our own times including St Josemaria Escriva and Blessed Mother Teresa.

After the various costumes had been admired and their characters guessed, the party programme included games to work off youthful energy, a feast of treats to eat and tricks from magician Tim Hill. Tim cleverly combined enthralling entertainment with effective evangelisation by using his tricks to illustrate aspects of the Gospel message. Fr Terry and assistant priest Fr Peter Andrews (on this occasion aka St Francis of Assisi) joined in the fun with gusto.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    wonderful to hear you are doing this- please keep it up! I am sending this link to others wanting to do something similar.
    We need to get the message out to parent swho feel guilty about not buying in to the usual ghoulish stuff that Children are happy if they have a party - and it doesn't need to be "pagan" themed as is the norm this time of year.
    My children dressed up as St. George, St, Michael and Saint Philomena.
    George and Michael ended up having a fight to rescue Philomena, but they had great fun and went to bed happy...