Stu­dents share the Na­tiv­ity story

The Advance of Bucks County - - NEWTOWN AREA - By Cary Beavers

NEW­TOWN - Amidst much pomp and rev­er­ent cir­cum­stance, Baby gesus ar­rived at St. An­drew School in New­town cri­day morn­ing. His pres­ence was the cul­mi­nat­ing moment of the school’s an­nual iive Na­tiv­ity.

The event goes be­yond a moment in a manger. In­stead, eighth-graders play out the en­tire scene of goseph and Mary ap­proach­ing the Inn, be­ing turned away and fi­nally end­ing up in a barn out­side the inn. The stu­dents sing, act and tell the story of gesus’ birth ac­cu­rately.

The ac­tiv­ity used to be part of the par­ish’s Christ­mas Eve Na­tiv­ity mass. About five years ago they de­cided to move it to the school day, where the stu­dent body and in­vited guests look­ing on. The au­di­to­rium was stand­ing room only.

“This is our big­gest crowd ever,” re­marked gen­nifer McDon­ald, devel­op­ment di­rec­tor for the school.

This year, the pro­duc­tion starred Tessa Kan­nek, the baby sis­ter of St. An­drew eighth­grader Matthew Kan­neck. Tessa played the role of baby gesus. Be­sides the pres­ence of a paci­fier, her per­for­mance was spo­ton. How did Tessa land the pres­ti­gious part?

“We keep our eyes open,” McDon­ald said. “If some­one in the school com­mu­nity has re­cently had a baby, then we’ve got our gesus.”

The pre­sen­ta­tion in­cluded wise men, shep­herds and even sheep – or at least young stu­dents hold­ing sheep masks made of pa­per in front of their faces.

The show went off with­out a hitch, the re­sult of three weeks’ worth of prac­tice, ac­cord­ing to McDon­ald. The pro­gram ended with a mes­sage about the mean­ing of Christ­mas, stress­ing that the true mean­ing of the hol­i­day can’t be found in any store or mall.

St. An­drew eighth-graders Luke Profy, as Joseph, and Syd­ney Amspacher, as Mary, gaze at the Baby Je­sus, played by Tessa Kan­nuck, Fri­day morn­ing.

Choir mem­bers sing dur­ing St. An­drew’s Live Na­tiv­ity Fri­day morn­ing.

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