GREENE — The religious education classes at Immaculate Conception were treated to a special presentation on Sunday Dec. 6, the Feast Day of St. Nicholas. Confirmation student Derick Heisler was entertaining yet informative as he explained the history of this interesting saint. He first told the children what the saint looked like, explaining that he wore a basic robe just like everyone wore in those days. Derick put a white robe on over his clothes. Then, adding that Nicholas was a priest, Derick put a stole on over the robe. Then Derick helped the children understand the duties of Nicholas as a bishop by putting on a special cape for traveling around the region from church to church.
Derick pointed out that most pictures we see of St. Nicholas show him with white hair and a white beard. The children enjoyed seeing Derick slip on a white beard and wig, borrowed from the local high school footlights program. Derick explained what a miter is, and likened it to a crown a queen or king would have worn. He put on a red homemade miter, made from a sheet of red craft foam, and adjusted it on top of the white wig.
Finally, holding his tall staff, Derick then began the stories of Nicholas’ life, beginning with his upbringing and decision to sell what he owned and give the money to the poor, sick and suffering. He explained the life stories of Nicholas love and compassion for children, his travels at sea, and his lessons of giving to others. By the end of the presentation the children understood why St. Nicholas is also the patron saint of children, students, sailors and voyagers. Derick handed out gingerbread cookies with a picture of St. Nicholas on top as the religious education class was dismissed.