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Nativity play highlights Christmas at St. Anthonys
Members of the sixth-and seventh-grade classes of St. Anthony of Padua School serenade family and friends with Christmas songs during the annual program held inside the church. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO/ The Bulletin

A re-enactment of the first Christmas is a time-honored tradition at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School in Manteca at this time of the year.

The play, which was the highlight of the annual Christmas program held inside the church Tuesday night, is also traditionally presented by the members of the school’s eighth-grade class. Leading the cast were Haley Fiedler who played the role of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Patrick Murphy who took the role of Joseph.

Rounding the cast were Seth Scroggins, Devin Culham, and Anthony Vazquez as the three kings, Merchor, Gaspar and Balthazar; and Chase Costa, Josh Lloyd and Christopher Thompson as the angels. The only non-eighth grader in the play was Gabriel Monasterio who was the Little Drummer Boy who played the drum as he sang the Christmas song with the same title.

The pews inside St. Anthony’s Church were filled to overflowing with family and friends, armed with digital cameras, cell phone cameras, and camcorders to capture every Kodak moment. The program, which ran for about an hour and a half, included group singing of Christmas carols by the first- to eight-grade classes. Directing the concert part of the program was the school’s music teacher and director Emelie Diaz.

The concert ushered in the two-week Christmas break for St. Anthony’s School which will begin when classes end at noon on Friday. The school will re-open on Jan. 6, the feast of the Epiphany.