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Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Thursday, August 25, 2016

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Home : Parish/School Life : Parish and School News
1/16/2013 2:24:00 PM
St. Clare sanctuary transformed for Christmas
St. Clare School photo
Fr. Steve Stobie helps first grader Henry Ryan with technique in creating a creche design.
St. Clare School photo
Fr. Steve Stobie helps first grader Henry Ryan with technique in creating a creche design.

St. Clare School
1807 SW Freeman St.
Portland, OR 97219
503-244-7600
[email protected]
www.stclarepdx.org
Grades: K-8
Enrollment: 230
Weekly Mass, full-day kindergarten, extended care, hot/cold lunch, multiple after-school offerings
Open House: January 27, noon-2:00 p.m.


At St. Clare School and parish, preparing the church for the coming of Christ was a labor of love for students and their pastor this past Christmas season.

Most parishes have a crèche or manger set up on the altar during advent, but Father Stephen Stobie had a unique vision in mind for parishioners and visitors to St. Clare. What if the altar was transformed to look like a cave or rustic rock outcropping – as a stable would appear during Christ’s time? This required a structurally sound design, a ready-made group of budding artists, and good old fashioned labor. Father Stobie got to work on the design and with the help of John McCracken, St. Clare’s facilities manager, constructed a frame built of PVC pipe, approximately 20 feet long, by 8 feet high tall.

Father Stobie joined students during art classes, and under the tutelage of art teacher Marie Acurso, encouraged the students to let their inner-artists emerge with colorful pastels applied to large rolls of brown paper. The colored paper was then “bunched-up” and affixed to the frame in the church by Father. Finally, lights were placed for optimum visual effect, and on Christmas Eve the cave came alive when the crèche pieces (all myrtle wood from the holy land) were placed within.  

“In the 10 years I’ve been here, I’ve never seen the church look more beautiful,” said Debbi Monahan, principal.  
 






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