SJS fifth-graders on Thursday performed the musical play “Saint Nick, Builder of Priest Holes in England” under the direction of teacher Nancy Guiney.
The play, written by Gary Penkala, pastoral associate for liturgy and music at Saint James the Greater Roman Catholic Church in Charles Town, and his assistant Jacob Perkowski, takes place during the 15th-century reign of Elizabeth I. At that time, anyone caught practicing the Catholic faith was persecuted and often martyred.
St. Nick, or Nicolas Owen, was a talented carpenter who built strategic hiding places for priests in the homes of the Catholic faithful. He eventually lost his life for that cause, but never revealed the names of any of the locations of his “priest holes” or of those who needed them.
Music for the play was adapted by Penkala and Perkowski from famous hits of The Beatles. The two men built the set and provided live music for the performance.
Thirty-eight fifth-graders practiced for weeks to prepare, with only the last rehearsal actually on the stage because it’s such a busy place in the school!
Many members of the staff and SJS family stepped in to help, including the custodial and kitchen staff. Special thanks are extended to Brian Kaltenbaugh, who generously shared his expertise and his entire Thursday ensuring that the sound system was running in top form.
The play was performed in honor of Salvina Michel, who is retiring from more than 35 years of teaching, the last five of which were spent at SJS.
Mrs. Michel is a tremendous fan of The Beatles.
We wish her every grace and blessing as she begins her new mission as wife to soon-to-be Deacon Pat Michel.
We will miss Mrs. Michel and remain hopeful that she is able to return often to SJS to assist us in our mission.