Against a Paganized Christmas Pageant

December 2007By Gabriel Espinosa

Gabriel Espinosa, who writes from Monticello, New York, is President of Furryllama Media Productions (www.furryllama.com).

Up until the end of the third quarter of the last school year, our son, Shane, attended St. Peter's Regional School in Liberty, New York. When we first moved to the area, we requested an interview with the school principal so we could ascertain the school's orthodoxy. We were impressed by the school and the teachers themselves. As it turns out, first impressions are not always correct.

Our troubles began when we learned of an inappropriate song that was to be included in the school's 2006 Christmas pageant. What follows are a series of communications between the Principal of St. Peter's and me regarding the pageant.

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Back to December 2007 Issue

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God bless Gabriel Espinosa! We must adhere to
our Catholic Faith as it was established by God
himself. Today many truths have been washed away. Not only in our church, but look at our
society - dumbed down and without any sense of
marality. Just me, myself and I, and anything
Posted by: auntmoha
December 17, 2007 09:01 AM EST
I'm sorry to hear of your misfortune, Gabriel. However, as a father of two grown kids and two grand kids, I have to say that you missed an important option... Perhaps you should have talked to the school's PTA (if they have one), or secured a list of the parents in the school, and looked for help with your stand. I learned a long time ago at the "University of Viet Nam", class of 1967, that frontal attacks are killers. I concur with your feelings with regard to the letter to the bishop. As we all know, his primary job is that of a "teacher" of the faith, but his secondary job is to cover his priests, unless of course they break the law. My experience around my parish for the past 35 years is that somebody DID call the pastor, and the pastor probably used the words "wack job" or "space angel" or something more polite regarding your efforts to "Make waves in his fiefdom a.k.a. parish".Since you probably paid a good amount of tuition momey, you should have a say in what goes on--after all you are a "customer", and not one of the old folks of my generation, who were taught to "Pray, pay, and OBEY".

God bless your efforts in the future, and my best to your youngster.
Posted by: Pozzi
January 03, 2008 05:00 PM EST
Mr. Pozzi,

Thank you for your comment. There is a PTO at the parish. Unfortunately, the pastor and principal have achieved a sort of untouchable guru status and I have found that for the most part anything and everything they say is eaten up and accepted by the poor sheep of that parish. Even if it is against the teaching of the church and/or Holy Father. My effort did not totally go to waste though. The parents of several potential students did contact me and ask for clarification. None of them enrolled their children there and instead went down to Our Lady of Mt Carmel 45 minutes away. I also know of at least one family who withdrew their children upon learning of the threat.
Posted by: gespin3549
January 04, 2008 08:19 AM EST
Dear Gabriel: Congratulations for the stance you took in the defense of our faith. As you and I already know many of our catholic schools, grammar, high or universities, and parishes have now gone astray and they are no longer teaching orthodox catholicism at all. It appears that the whole of the catholic church is suffering a grave illnes of protestantism and in some cases atheism. May the Lord Bless you and your family. I will be praying for you and your family in my daily (Tridentine) Mass tomorrow morning.

Posted by: rickonti
January 06, 2008 06:27 PM EST
I thought this additional postscript would be invaluable in the defense of my position. I came across an essay written by a 7th grader in Saint Peters for his religion class. The purpose of the essay was to indicate similarities between Christianity and Islam. Although there are exterior similarities such as monotheism, the student wrote about a similarity I've never heard of, but which can be directly attributed to the substance of my complaint against the school. He wrote that "another thing we have in common is that both religions were founded by a prophet; Mohammed founded Islam and Jesus founded Christianity. So, now Jesus is relegated to the status of prophet. And they say I exaggerated the problem...HAH! Posted by: gespin3549
April 08, 2008 11:49 PM EDT
St. Peter's School continues to reap misfortune upon misfortune. The principal has retired and this year guess who has assumed the role? None other than a person who admits to voting for pro-abortion candidates. She broadcast her choice of John Kerry for President and Eliot Spitzer for Governor of New York, each in their respective electoral race, and she broadcast this disturbing news within the walls of St. Peter's Roman Catholic Elementary School to my son's 6th grade class and then again, two years later, to his 8th grade class. The first time with Kerry, my son came home after school and said to us, "Mrs. Layman told us that she is voting for John Kerry for President because she has a choice!...Daddy, isn't John Kerry pro-abortion?"

After a meeting with the principal, Mrs. Stiene and Mrs. Layman, they both assured us that personal politics would not enter the realm of the classroom again. Well, it happened again two years later with the same teacher.

1. What is such a person doing teaching in a Catholic school?

2. Why is she bringing her politics into the classroom?

3. Why is she saying suggestive things to Catholic children which are not consistent with Catholic teaching?

4. Why did the principal and the pastor, Msgr Straub, tolerate this twice?

5. Why is she the current principal of the school?

I urge readers to contact the school as well as the pastor and ask these questions.

St. Peters School
Principal - Mrs. Lisa Layman
121 Lincoln Pl
Liberty, NY 12754
(845) 292-7270

St. Peter's Church & Rectory
264 North Main Street
Liberty, NY 12754
Reverend Monsignor Edward F. Straub
(845) 292-4525

Be prepared to hear that I am a 'wack-job" or a "fanatic" or any of many titles I've surely earned, all to the glory of God, but also be aware that I have documented proof and witnesses which you may ask for. My email is at the very top of this column.
Posted by: gespin3549
September 24, 2008 12:41 PM EDT
Congratulations to this alert parent. Our local Catholic school just admitted a kindergartner with "two mommies." Oh, how inclusive! How confusing to their schoolmates... Posted by: eberwein
January 11, 2010 02:17 PM EST
Mrs. Layman, mentioned above, remains Principal of St. Peter's School in Liberty, NY. As far as I know, she has NOT taken retracted her support for pro-abortion political candidates. Be aware of this if you are considering St. Peter's as a venue of education for your children. Better to send them to St. Joe's or Our Lady of Mt. Carmel down in Orange County, or public school where they will learn to fight for their faith, or home school them. Many resources for Catholic home schoolers at www.sullivancountyhomeschooling.org.
Posted by: gespin3549
January 11, 2010 05:31 PM EST
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