The Road to Bethlehem from Cornwall Ontario by Don Smith

On the Road to Bethlehem
On our way to Bethlehem:  a Christmas Musical for Children
performed by St. Peter’s Youth Choir and Friends

CFN – St. Peter’s Catholic Church was the site of three related diocesan Advent events this afternoon. People gathered from across the area to witness the Emerson/Jacobson musical production ‘On our Way to Bethlehem’ as presented by the St. Peter’s Youth Choir and Friends, under the direction of Helen McAlear.  St. Peter’s Pastor, Father Kevin Maloney, welcomed the assembly and set a tone of prayerful and joyful reflection. The young people led the assembly in pondering whether or not each of us is ready to encounter Christ.  Although the Christmas story itself is unchanging, the periodic injection of humour by the donkey (yes, a talking donkey), the magi and others provided for a light-hearted and engaging time.  Prior to the pageant, some teens and young adults performed a short Christmas concert of contemporary and more traditional hymns.  A free-will offering was received in support of the local Pro-Life organization.

The general public had been invited to bring their indoor Nativity Scenes or Mangers.  Right after the pageant, Alexandria-Cornwall Bishop Marcel Damphousse led a short Advent prayer service and blessed the Nativities for devotional use in the homes of their owners.  The Blessing of these items is part of a long tradition in the Church and is even celebrated in Rome by the Pope.

Bishop Marcel Damphousse blessing Nativity Scenes for use in area homes
Bishop Marcel Damphousse blessing Nativity Scenes for use in area homes

After the Blessing, attendees were encouraged to view the various Nativity Scenes on display and to enjoy a bit of fellowship over refreshments.

A few of the 45 Nativity Scenes on display

Through the video clip below, CFN is pleased to bring you the concert and musical production in its entirety.

On Christmas Eve, the Bishop will join the celebration of Midnight Mass at St. Columban Parish (4th and Augustus Streets) and on Sunday January 6th from 2-4 p.m. he invites the community to a Meet and Greet at the Agora Catholic Centre (former Nativity Hall) on McConnell Avenue.

The diocese has other family-friendly events to help people enter more fully into the spirit of the season and to promote family togetherness.  From December 26 – 30, the diocese is sponsoring its first annual Family Bowling Tournament.  Families are invited to drop by the Nativity Bowling Lanes (301 McConnell Ave) during the Christmas holidays. The goal is to encourage families to share a fun, inexpensive activity together.  For details about the tournament and to sign up go to On Sunday, December 30th from 1-3 p.m., the ice at the Cornwall Civic Complex has been rented for a free Family Skate.  All are welcome.

Don Smith reports on a variety of topics, notably good news items as well as social justice issues.


  1. This was the best Christmas concert ever! Certainly put me in the spirit 🙂 And Aaron singing always makes me smile..(he’s the first singer)

  2. Hi

    I love this musical. All the kids do such a great job. I am proud of my son, “Joseph” for being the kid he is.

    I look forward to next year and the Christmas Musical the choir and Ms. McAlear will provide to us.

Leave a Reply