5300 W 155th Street, Oak Forest Il

St. Damian School Nativity Play

The motto of St. Damian School this year has been “Where there’s a will, there’s a way!”  The faculty and administration of St. Damian School have gone above and beyond in many extraordinary ways to keep the students safe, healthy and learning in person.  Remote learning is also an option for families who choose it. 

Music teacher Mrs. Lynn Kingsbury faced an enormous challenge.  The CDC has warned Covid 19 is an airborne virus, spread through respiratory droplets.  This led to a prohibition of singing in the classroom.  Mrs. Kingsbury drew from her personal experience with hearing impaired relatives and combined it with her love of music.  She began to teach the children American Sign Language.  The children were now “singing” in sign!  Her creativity caught the attention of local news outlets, and then spread to national news outlets.  

The St. Damian School Advent Waiting Paraliturgy is the story of the Nativity told in word and song.  The fifth graders perform in the Church for the students and their families and parishioners.  This year, covid did not win and the show did go on!  The stable and props came out, the students wore beautiful costumes, becoming angels, shepherds and drummer boys.  The students signed the carols as Francesca and Anthony Chimera sang along with music by Music Director Tony Berardi and violinists Rose and Courtney DeVenuto.  The songs and narrations were recorded and a YouTube video was created using recordings of students who are remote learning as well.  This triumphant performance was covered by the Chicago Catholic and the National Catholic Register.  The national Catholic News Agency has included our story on it's website.  Breaking news...EWTN cable network has contacted principal Jennifer Miller!

St. Damian School has truly lived up to it’s motto - “Where there’s a will, there’s a way!”  We extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to all the dedicated teachers, adminstration, musicians and staff that have given their very best in this challenging season. 

The Chicago Catholic: https://www.chicagocatholic.com/chicagoland/-/article/2020/12/16/st-damian-students-learn-to-sign-christmas-son-1

National Catholic Register: https://www.ncregister.com/features/signs-of-the-season-chicago-catholic-school-spreads-christmas-cheer-through-american-sign-language

The Catholic News Service: https://www.catholicnews.com/no-singing-allowed-chicago-catholic-schools-students-learn-sign-language/

YouTube link to finished video: https://youtu.be/j5zArrsz9Dk

Photos courtesy of the Chicago Catholic.