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More than a Million Words and Counting

By Mireille Rita Grovier, photo by Jay Grovier

If the idiom “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true, then certainly a moving picture has an exponentially much higher value. This assumption was proven accurate on Sunday, December 13, when the pastorela of Centro Infantil San Pablo (CISP) came to life at 11:30am, following the regular Sunday Eucharist.

When it comes to the children of CISP, miracles are the norm. Sunday morning dawned with grey skies and, at times, heavy raindrops. Props for the pastorela, traditionally celebrated on the church lawn, were carried into the sanctuary. When the pastorela actually commenced, however, sunshine poured through the windows of the church and onto participants and spectators.

Masterminded and staged with her usual expertise, the school’s directora Patricia Palacios Cortéz was uncharacteristically attired as one of the two adult devils. During the course of the performance, her diabolic male counterpart was redeemed and transformed into an angel on stage.

Diminutive students cast as Mary and Joseph entered the front door of the church riding a live, and very well mannered, donkey. A live infant had been placed on the manger, which now was placed in front of the altar. The Sagrada Familia assumed their positions, poised for the photographs of admirers and the continuation of the show.

Suddenly a resounding BOOM, a malfunction of the sound system, startled everyone in attendance. A frightened and crying “baby Jesus” was gently rescued by the still diabolically clad directora and carried to his mother’s arms.

Each class and their teachers performed dances in turn: The five- and four-year-olds wore costumes traditional to the era. The three-year-old haloed angels were accompanied by the newly reformed devil turned angel. Three adults kings then ended the ceremony, riding in on giant hobby horses and carrying their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Delighted performers and guests were treated to refreshments in the Parish Hall following the pastorela. Thus concluded yet another spectacular and successful CISP pastorela.

St. Paul’s founded Centro Infantil in 2001. To learn more about Centro Infantil San Pablo and the educational opportunities we provide these amazing children, please visit our website at


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