A young parishioner dresses as St. Elizabeth of Hungary for St. Joseph the Worker parish’s All Saints’ Day festivities. Photo courtesy of St. Joseph the Worker parish

A different take on Halloween

By 
  • October 31, 2015

THORNHILL, ONT. - To celebrate All Saints’ Day, a Thornhill parish is hosting a costume party for its youngest parishioners.

On Nov. 1, children and their families will be coming to St. Joseph the Worker parish dressed as their favourite Catholic saint or biblical figure. From 2 to 4 p.m., there will be games, prizes and nut-free treats to share.

“One of the things we noticed is that for a lot of the kids, Halloween is not a time that you’re dressing up as someone scary. You’re dressing up as a hero or someone you look up to,” said Vlad Mamaradlo, youth minister at St. Joseph the Worker. “Superman is cool and so is Elsa, but equally, there are people that you can look up to that are real and that lived heroic lives.”

Mamaradlo, who organizes the event every year, said his favourite part is watching the children of the parish tell the stories of these saints and biblical figures in their own way.

“They get really creative with it,” he said. “There was one (child) that came with just random objects stuck to him... And they came as St. Anthony because he finds lost things. You see the side of the saint in a more humorous and creative way.”

The All Saints’ Day party allows the children in the parish to connect with the saints on a more personal level. It also gives families the opportunity to have conversations about important figures in the Church.

On a parish level, the All Saints’ Day party is an opportunity the parish uses to bring the community together outside of Sunday Mass and regular prayer devotions.

“It brings the community together as a family,” said Mamaradlo. “I think it gives that sense of support and encouragement when you meet other like-
minded parents and children meet other like-minded children... And I think that’s important for a healthy spiritual life as a parish.”

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