Manville churches enjoy new ways to celebrate meaning of Christmas


By:Mary Ellen Zangara
   Christmas is always a special time of the year, and Manville churches offer members something extra to mark the celebration.
   On Dec. 21, the Manville Reformed Church at South Fifth and Pope streets offered a "Living Story" play of the first Christmas, while Sacred Heart parishioners were treated to a birthday party for Jesus on Dec. 24.
   "Jesus is the Reason" was presented at Manville Reformed Church with the help of Debbie Fedak. Children of the church members participated in the re-enactment of the night Christ was born.
   For weeks, the children practiced their lines, parents made their costumes, and the manger was built for the performance. Greg Babich and his sister Jessica began the re-enactment as the innkeeper and his wife. As the two made their way to the front, they took over as the narrators of the Christmas story.
   Cory Britt and Shelby Titus entered as Joseph and Mary entering the stable for the birth of Jesus ( Erica Jasinski). As the story continued, "angels" Dana Fedak, Dylan Whitenight — and Botond Veress as Gabriel — joined in the stable.
   A visit from the shepherds — Brittany Fedak, Taylor Carbone and Jeremy Nurnberger — and three kings Justin Babich, Nathan Bott and Brendan Nurnberger — followed.
   Many parents were involved in the preparation for the performance. Judy and Ron Jasinski, Ed and Irene Palagyi, Cindy Britt, Bill Fedak, Erich and Judi Nurnberger, Bill and Sue Titus, Joyce Burjan, Victor and Melinda Veress, Paul and Lynn Whitenight and Ruth Leary all helped with the presentation.
   On Christmas Eve, "The Celebration of Jesus’ Birth" birthday party was celebrated at Sacred Heart Church on Main Street with the children of the parish in the first Christmas. The Mass began with the youngsters dressed as the participants of many years ago.
   Fourteen angels — Victoria Biekar, Monika Bielen, Allison Charneski, Krystal Domin, Courtney Ellis, Lauren Johnson, Emily Karwowski, Monica Karwowski, Alyson Kreideweis, Megan Kreideweis, Jordyn Moore, Karli Ramirez, Stephanie Santostefano and Emily Wierzba — entered the church in white robes and gold wings as "Silent Night" was sung by the choir. Annette Bielen portrayed the Angel of the Lord.
   The shepherds followed with their little lambs in their arms. Daniel Bickar, Tanner Johnson, Ben Klein, Connor Komoroski, Andrew Murry, Jack Murry, Kyle Puza, Ryan Thomaszfski, Marty Wierzba, Andrew Ziminski and Sean Zujkowski, portraying the shepherds, entered two at a time.
   Salvatore Grasso was the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus, and Jennifer Clougher, Brandon Martinez and DJ McHugh were the three kings. Alexandria Puza portrayed the Blessed Mother, with Jason Zujkowski as her husband, Joseph. Crystal Komoroski and Samantha Hudacko did the readings during the Mass.
   After the homily, Sister Carol Ann asked all the young children in the church to join her in the front aisle. They all gathered to watch Sister perform a special magic show for the birthday celebration. She also explained the meaning of the candy cane by saying the color white stood for Christ’s purity, the red for his blood, and if you turned it upside down, it gives you the letter "J" for Jesus.
   When the petitions were read by Megan McHugh, the Mass continued and the choir of Kristina Cigler, Melissa Gladstone, Alissa Henkel, Ashley Kolibas, Nicole Kolibas, Samantha Komorowski, Casey Kozoh, Karissa Kozoh, Angelo Locham, Peter Locham, Alexis Nerger, Cassie Nerger, Leanna Ward, Kris Wierzba, Magdalene Woznicki, Mark Zagaja and Tom Zagaja under the direction of Lucy Mazaraski and accompanied by violinist Danuta Augustyn sang the traditional Christmas songs.
   At the end of the Mass, Mary (Alexandria) and Joseph (Jason) entered the center aisle of the church with a birthday cake lit with many candles. When they reached the altar, the Rev. Boguslaw Augustyn — Father Bogie — joined them and the parishioners all sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. The three blew out the candles and the cake was brought downstairs in the church auditorium for all to enjoy.
   Others who also helped with this annual celebration at the church were ushers Robert Clougher, Keith Hall, Matthew Mahilo, and David Rubin.
   Director Charlotte Snow with her assistants Violet Hall, Cindy Giraldi and Carol Cigler helped the children practice, get ready in their costumes and were responsible for organizing the celebration. Keith Hall designed the program.