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Hesitancy to Pageantry at Centro Infantil San Pablo

By Mireille Rita Grovier, photography by Jay Grovier

“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry” is a saying adapted from a line in the poem “To A Mouse” by Robert Burns, a National Poet of Scotland. The saying readily applied to Centro Infantil’s Pastorela on Sunday, December 11 at St. Paul’s Anglican Church.

Following the Eucharist, the congregation remained in their places for the annual event. Members of the church and family members stood, cameras raised, in anticipation of the arrival of the Holy Family. However, the donkey carrying the five-year-old portrayers of Mary and Joseph had other ideas. Whether from fear of the mass of people awaiting him or just plain stubbornness, he would not budge from the entrance to the sanctuary. After several unsuccessful tries, the journey to Bethlehem began as students and teachers paraded down the aisle of the church without him. Congregation and visitors then proceeded to the church lawn.

There were the traditional devils dancing in an effort to deter the pastores and the Three Kings from going to see and praise the newly arrived Jesus. But to no avail.

Each of the three classes in the school, with their teachers, took turns at dancing as shepherds and angels to the applause of the audience. The donkey, now pacified and on his best behavior, carried Mary, Joseph, and baby to a crèche that was readied on the lawn.

A large beribboned Christmas gift was waiting near the crèche. When it was opened a five-year-old, transformed into the Star of Bethlehem, emerged.

When it seemed that nothing could be added to the perfection of the pageantry, three adult Kings of Orient emerged from the Parish Hall riding on grown-up sized hobbyhorses. The story was complete: journey, birth, angels, shepherds, and, finally, the arrival of the Three Kings.

Cameras flashed continuously accompanied by thunderous laughter and applause. All in attendance were then invited to refreshments in the Parish Hall.

Poet Burns may have called the initial shot on this day but Shakespeare culminated the event: “All’s well that ends well.”

Centro Infantil San Pablo is a preschool founded by St. Paul’s Anglican Church to provide underprivileged children with a quality early childhood education. To know more about Centro Infantil San Pablo and the educational opportunities we provide these amazing children, and how you can support and volunteer, please visit our web site at


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