The seminarians directing traffic last night in advance of the third annual community tree lighting at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park had a good problem — where to park all the cars that were bringing folks to an event that appears to be growing in attendance.
Last year, we described attendees as “friends and family”. This year those friends and family counted in the hundreds, more than filling the lawn and oval parking lot.
The festivities got underway with a holiday boutique that beckoned visitors inside the Seminary hallways, filled with a wide variety of gift options along with some delicious baked goods. Just before 5:00, seminarians ringing bells lead the procession to the lawn outside, where a Nativity scene surrounded by unlit Christmas trees stood.
Before blessing both the trees and Nativity, Rector/President James L. McKearney, S.S. gave a short homily that focused on “the giving trees,” which sacrifice “their lives to bring joy to others”. He reminded those gathered to listen to the presence in ones heart that brings joy and comfort and which can inspire us to look outward to what we can do to help the community around us.
Like last year, the short ceremony ended with the seminarian chorus singing Oh, Christmas Tree and Feliz Navidad.
We conclude with the words we used last year — this is “an authentic Christmas treat” that’s worthy of attention. Mark you calendar for next year: the Monday after Thanksgiving.