Learning Leads to Independence
Our students come to Saint Catherine Academy with a need: a need to learn; a need to belong; a need to be recognized. We meet the student where they are and work to move them forward in their interpersonal skills, academic skills, vocational experiences—all to build life skills that leads them to independence.
December 22, 2017 Fairfield County Catholic
FAIRFIELD—“What a remarkable experience of faith!” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano at the end of this year’s St. Catherine Academy Christmas Pageant.
“Now I can say it’s really the beginning of the Christmas Season in our diocese!” said the bishop to the more than 200 people who turned out for this year’s pageant performed by students who with autism or intellectual or developmental disabilities.
The audience, consisting of family and friends of St. Catherine’s, was treated to one of the best productions of the Nativity in years as the young players lifted their voices in song, performed in beautiful costumes, and dramatized the birth of Christ.
St. Catherine Academy student Anthony Virgile led the production with his excellent narration and reading of scripture, while Natalie Massaro and Philip Palilla were audience favorites with their portrayal of Mary and Joseph.
The 17-member cast sang many Christmas favorites including Silent Night, and This Little Light of Mine, and they were joined by the entire audience on O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Angels we Have Heard on High, Joy to the World, and Let There Be Peace on Earth.
— Fairfield — This year the students are studying the American glass sculptor, Dale Chihuly, as part of their art curriculum. Inspired by the recent exhibition at the New York Botanical Gardens, Mrs. Barber, our art teacher introduced Chihuly to the students by showing them a glass globe with infused colors. Chihuly’s works are considered to possess outstanding artistic merit in the field of blown glass, “moving it into the realm of large-scale sculpture.” The technical difficulties of working with glass forms are considerable, yet Chihuly uses it as the primary medium for installations and environmental artwork.
When asked to comment on what inspired him, Chihuly looked to his childhood fascination with glass marbles.
In the 1990s, Chihuly became involved in several significant public exhibitions that involved glass chandeliers, integrating architecture and glass sculpture. Chilhuly reported that he “was as interested in the way my art works in a public space as in the art itself.” Mrs. Barber and Mrs. Claus worked with the students, using clear plastic cups and markers to create pieces of our own chandelier that is now on display in our kitchen at the Center.
The study of his art continued through the holidays when students made candy dishes that were very colorful as gifts for their families. Recently, they were introduced to sculpture as they create their own uniquely shaped and colored three-D art.
Chihuly offered living canvases in his most recent exhibition that showcased his signature organic shapes in brilliant colors. It is so exciting to give our students the opportunity to be expressive with a variety of mediums and unlimited choices of color.