Holy Thursday observance at St. Joseph Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Austintown began in silence. Students, faculty and staff remained quiet for prayer and meditation for the first hour of the school day. They then proceeded to church where they watched a moving portrayal of “The Last Days of Jesus” presented in mime by Mrs. Caroline Mulhall’s sixth-grade class.
Students learned about mime acting and the significance of mime face and symbols as they portrayed, with narration and music, the last days of Jesus — entering Jerusalem to “Hosannas” and culminating with His death on the cross.
Several characters’ faces were painted differently. The student with the black face played the murderer Barabbas, the prisoner the people chose to release, rather than the innocent Jesus. The student with the half black, half white, face played the Governor Pontius Pilate, who had the choice of condemning Jesus to death or freeing Him. He chose death for Jesus.
Parents and parishioners were emotionally moved upon seeing sixth-graders portrayal of the events. “There is something special about seeing 11 and 12-year-olds witness to adults about their faith,” said one audience member.
”The students take the mime seriously, with amazing reverence,” said Mulhall.