A staple tradition at Mount Royal has always been the celebration of All Saints day. Instead of emphasizing the unsettling and inhuman aspects of Halloween, we embrace the goodness and virtue of the saints. Rather than focusing on characters created by the culture that spook and shock us, we lift up those saints whose Christian lifestyles point to the inherent attractiveness of the good. By celebrating All Saints day, we are also reminded of St. Paul's numerous references to the "holy ones" - living saints if you will - indicating that all the baptized share a universal call to holiness.
Saints aren't perfect either, as many of their own biographical writings attest to. What makes a saint different is their extreme effort and radical pursuit of God. The saints embrace the goodness of God, and just as God-Incarnate embraced humanity upon the cross, so do the saints necessarily seek to affirm the goodness and inviolability of humanity.
We began our day with students in the elementary school performing skits and narrating the lives of the saints. Then we celebrated the sacred liturgy, uniting our prayers to God alongside those of the saints. We were blessed to have Fr. Peter offer the Mass on a Holy Day of obligation, and we were also thankful to have Mrs. Bellino return to lead us in the Litany of the Saints. Afterwards we all had lunch together, then the elementary students returned to their saint costumes to go "souling". High school students gave the younger children candy, but only if they told them something unique about their saint. We finished the day by imitating the joy of the saints, having fun as an entire school with a game of capture the flag.
Celebrating the great solemnity of All Saints is vitally important to the success of the school's mission. Mount Royal is a special place because parents and educators come together to model and impart virtue to children. As we look to the saints for direction, it is comforting to know that even saints fall short of the mark. Nevertheless, it is their relentless quest for goodness that makes them so attractive, and we pray that our students will come to know the beauty of virtue by imitating the examples of the saints.