Every year Everest celebrates Pope Day, but this year marked the start of a new tradition. Pope Day was celebrated on February 22, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, the day the Church honors the Pope and his God-given authority.
Second grade’s special role in our Pope day celebration
A week prior to the feast day, second graders participated in a mock conclave to elect a pope. As the cardinals were assembled they prayed a rosary, asking the Holy Spirit to guide them in selecting the new pope. Students were told to vote for someone who is kind to fellow classmates and a good example. On the feast day, the elected pope, Jonah Reichert, and his Swiss guards – Adam Tibudan, Matthew Jeggle, and Nicholas Jeggle – visited the Junior Kindergarten through Eighth Grade classrooms to pass out “pope-sicles.”
A word on the feast day
The Feast of the Chair of St. Peter celebrates the papacy and St. Peter as the first bishop of Rome. Jesus bestowed on Peter a special place among the Apostles. The Feast refers to the “chair” of St. Peter because in ancient times, teachers sat down while teaching. However we are not celebrating a physical object – a chair – but rather the office/occupant and the gift Christ gave us in the authority of the Pope. The Chair refers to St. Peter’s authority to teach and govern the Church in the name of Christ. We often refer to the Pope as the “vicar (representative) of Christ on earth”. His God-given authority has been passed down through the centuries from St. Peter to our current Pope.