Fr. Joseph Marquis, a Byzantine Cat6holic priest, is a frequent visitor to our IRL offices who loves to give us updates on his St. Nicholas ministry. The goal is to make people realize that Santa Claus is not a mythical figure who brings us presents, but rather a real man named St. Nicholas who shows us the real meaning of Christmas.
Father is the founder and executive director of the St. Nicholas Institute. He has over 40 years of professional Santa Claus and St. Nicholas experience, is an Emmy Award winning Santa, and member of the Santa Claus Hall of Fame – Class of 2011, Santa Claus, Indiana. All this is true!!
As their website says: The St. Nicholas Institute is open to all Santas (whether traditionally bearded or real bearded) of all Christian faiths (Catholic, Eastern Orthodox or Protestant). Their program is uniquely designed for cross-training of individuals to effectively portray Santa Claus and St. Nicholas for a wide variety of venues (both secular and religious). Formation also encourages a prayerful openness to the very same Spirit that animated the life and actions of the original “jolly old St. Nicholas”, whose heart was made glad by the Babe born in Bethlehem.
Looking for a good Christmas gift for grandchildren, children or people confused about the origins of Santa Claus? Father has a new DVD out called Saint to Santa: How Saint Nicholas Became Santa Claus. It is available from Pauline Books and Media.
O blessed Nicholas,
show compassion to me who fall down praying to thee;
and enlighten the eyes of my soul, O wise one,
that I may clearly behold the Light-Giver and Compassionate One. Amen.