St Nicholas Institute, Santa School Michigan, Santa Claus Training, Santa Claus School

Register for the 2017 Awards Gala!

“Where the North American St. Nicholas Revolution Began”

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2017 Seminar & Spiritual Retreat Schedule

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St. Nicholas Institute Retreat & Seminar
Monday, October 2nd thru Thursday, October 5th, 2017
St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center
3333 Schoolcraft Ave., Detroit, MI 48223

Join St. Nicholases, Santa, Mrs. Claus Professionals and Serious Amateurs From Across North America

Registration Now Closed



St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center, Detroit, MI

The St. Nicholas Institute is the one-of-a-kind spiritual retreat and educational symposium uniquely designed with the professional St. Nicholas, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and the serious amateur in mind.

Conducted each October in the beautifully serene setting of Detroit’s St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center, the multi-day St. Nicholas Institute represents a refreshing change of pace for “men and women in red.” Institute participants will experience: informative seminar sessions presented by knowledgeable speakers representing diverse fields of expertise. As an added plus, there opportunities for private reflection and/or prayer, recreation, welcome periods for relaxation and/or “siestas.”  This balanced combination of a spiritual retreat and informative seminar is held within a warm, quiet environment, encouraging mutual sharing, socializing and building comradery with other faith-based men and women who recognize that "Jesus is", indeed, "the reason for the Season." 

The St. Nicholas Institute is open to all Mrs. Clauses, St. Nicholases and/or  Santa Clauses (traditionally bearded or theatrically bearded “St. Nicks”) from all Christian backgrounds (Eastern Orthodox Christians, Protestants, as well as Roman and Eastern Catholics). Our unique program is designed to effectively portray Santa Claus and St. Nicholas for a wide variety of venues (both secular and religious). Special attention is given that encourages prayerful openness to the very same Spirit that animated the life and actions of the original "jolly old St. Nicholas", whose heart was made glad by the Babe born in Bethlehem.

Fr. Joseph Marquisfounder and executive directorSt. Nicholas Institute

Fr. Joseph is the pastor of Sacred Heart Byzantine Catholic Church, Livonia, MI. Possessing over 45 years of professional Santa Claus / St. Nicholas experience. During the course of his for and-one-half decades of experience, he has brought “St. Nick” to life for both national and local media during LIVE broadcasts. These include CBS (Television Network) broadcasts of the legendary J.L. Hudson & Company Thanksgiving Day Parade, which were Detroit’s worthy rival to New York City’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. He’s likewise featured as Santa in print, television and radio commercials. His recognitions include: an Emmy Award winning Santa, judged “Super Santa” by The Detroit News, and is also a member of the Santa Claus Hall of Fame. Most recently, Marquis appeared as both St. Nicholas and Santa Claus, accompanied by six puppet characters of his own, for the children’s Christmas DVD, “Saint to Santa: How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus.” (See “Saint to Santa” trailer on the web site menu).Fr. Joseph has been regularly seen on EWTN (Global Catholic Television Network).

Rev. Rennie Kaufmann, associate director, St. Nicholas Institute, is the pastor of Risen Christ Lutheran Church, Plymouth, MI. A true "Renaissance Man" in the field of entertainment, he has distinguished himself professionally in a wide variety of venues for more than two-and-one half decades. His long list of credits include: numerous private parties hosted by Oprah Winfrey, working with the legendary Quincy Jones, musical presentations at Walt Disney World in addition to countless appearances on television and radio. Pastor Rennie’s musical and performing gifts offer added pizzazz during the Institute seminars and as the featured vocalist for the gala St. Nicholas Institute Awards Banquet.

Guest Instructors, St. Nicholas Institute.  We gratefully acknowledge the contributions made by volunteer professional instructors who generously donate their individual time and talents in order to make the St. Nicholas Institute possible. Click here for the 2017 Guest instructor list.

St. Nicholas Institute Defrays Cost of Annual SNI Christmas Express

20% of all proceeds realized from the non-profit St. Nicholas Institute will defray costs of the “SNI Christmas Express” pre-Christmas celebration. Help us to share the joy, peace and love of the Season with disadvantaged children and their families.

To make additional donation (large or small) to the “SNI Christmas Express”, click on its featured icon.



2017 SNI Schedule Outline

Monday, October 2nd thru Thursday, October 5th, 2017
St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center
23333 Schoolcraft Ave., Detroit, MI 48223

NOTE: Please be advised that this schedule may be subject to change, without prior notice.

Monday, October 2, 2017
4:30-5:30 p.m. Arrive at St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center (Check-in, registration, pay balance of enrollment stipend, assignment of private rooms)

5:30-6:30 p.m. Supper (Refectory)

6:30-7:45 p.m.  Welcome and Introductions (Main Conference Room)
Co-Presenters: Fr. Joseph Marquis
, executive director & Rev. Rennie Kaufmann, Associate Director

The St. Nicholas Institute “went global” when Pastor Rennie Kaufamann and  Fr. Joseph Marquis (as St. Nicholas) participated during the World Meeting of Families, Philadelphia, PA. Both clerics met an estimated 16,000 attendees from across around the world, during this multi-day event that concluded with the historic arrival of Pope Francis in September of 2015.

7:45- 9:05 p.m. Session I: “The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor” (Psalm 34:2-3, 17-18, 19, 23) Co-Presenters: Fr. Joseph Marquis, Executive Director/ Rev. Rennie Kaufmann, Associate Director (Main Conference Room)

9:10 p.m. Night Prayer (Retreat Center Chapel)

9:30 p.m.-? Informal Evening Social (Main Conference Room)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

7:00 a.m. Rise and Shine

7:45 a.m. Morning Prayer (Retreat Center Chapel)

8:00 – 8:45 a.m. FULL Breakfast (Dining Room)

8:45-9:00 a.m.: "Wake-Up, You Sleepy-Heads" (Musical Warm-Up)
Staff Performer: Rev. Rennie Kaufmann
, Associate Director (Main Conference Room)

9:00-9:50 a.m. Session II: “St. Nicholas: A Timeline” (Main Conference Room) Presenter: Fr. Joseph, St. Nicholas Institute

9:50-10:00a.m. Musical Interlude, Staff Presenter: Rev. Rennie Kaufmann

10:00-12 Noon Session III: “The Power of Silence” (Main Conference Room) Staff Presenter: Fr. Joseph Marquis

11:00 – 11:10 a.m. Musical Interlude, Staff Performer: Rev. Rennie Kaufmann (Main Conference Room)

12 noon - 1:00 p.m.: Lunch (Dining Room)

1:00-2:00p.m. Afternoon Break (Siesta Time / Private Prayer / Relax and/or Explore the Lovely Grounds of the Retreat Center)

2:15-4:15 p.m. Session IV:  Presenter: Ron Wolek, author, “The Professional Santa Makeup Manual.” Professional Hair & Makeup Supervisor (1st National Tour of "War Horse;" Disneyland Training Supervisor for 50+ wig stylists; "Walt Disney World Christmas Parade", ABC TV; 2007-2010), Most recently, Ron provided his make-up talents for the soon-to-be-released film, “Santa Stole Our Dog!”, starring Ed Asner in the title role as Santa Claus: (Main Conference Room)

4:15 p.m.-5:00 p.m. (Break / Brief Siesta / Tour Retreat Center Grounds)

5:30-6:30 p.m. Supper (Dining Room)

6:30-6:45 p.m. Musical Interlude, Staff Performer: Rev. Rennie Kaufmann

7:00-9:00 p.m. Session V: “Tuesday Night at the Movies” (Special Film & Group Discussion)

9:00 p.m.: Night Prayer (Retreat Center Chapel)

9:15-(?) : Informal Evening Social (Main Conference Room)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

7:00 a.m.: Rise and Shine

7:45 a.m.: Morning Prayer (Retreat Center Chapel)

8:00 a.m.: FULL Breakfast (Dining Room)

8:50 a.m.: Musical Interlude "Laughin' Ho-Ho-Ho!" Staff Presenter: Rev. Rennie Kaufmann,

9:00-10:30 a.m. Session VI (Introduction: Brief Academy Award Winning Film) Guest Presenter: Fr. Patrick Lowery, “When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Will Appear: Practical Lessons from the School of Suffering” (Main Conference Room)

10:00-10:15 a.m. Musical Interlude, Staff Performer: Rev. Rennie Kaufmann

11:00 a.m.-12 noon Session VII: " Make-Up Secrets & Techniques," Guest Presenter: Ron Wolek, Professional Hair & Makeup Supervisor (1st National Tour of "War Horse;" Disneyland Training Supervisor for 50+ wig stylists; "Walt Disney World Christmas Parade", ABC TV; 2007-2010).

12 noon - 1:00 p.m. Lunch (Dining Room) 


1:00-2:10 p.m. After Lunch Break Period (Siesta Time / Private Prayer / Explore Retreat Grounds)


2:15-2:45 p.m. Session VIII: “The Order of St. Nicholas Medal: It’s Purpose, Its Meaning & Its Obligations” Staff Presenter: Fr. Joseph (Main Conference Room)


2:15- 4:15 p.m. Session VIII, Group Sharing: “There is More to St. Nick Than You Think” Group Facilitators: Fr. Joseph and Rev. Rennie(Main Conference Room)

4:15 – 4:30 p.m. Brief Break

4:30 – 4:50 p.m. Group Photo Opportunity (Dining Room)

4:50 - 5:30 P.M. Prepare for Chartered Bus transportation from Retreat Center to Awards Banquet

5:40 p.m. SHARP!: "ALL ABOARD" (Board Chartered Tour Bus to SNI Awards Gala)




5:55 p.m. Arrival of Tour Bus at Sacred Heart Banquet & Conference Center


6:00-9:50p.m.: 4th Annual Gala St. Nicholas Institute Awards Gala (Reserved Seating)

Awards & Recognitions Presented to All SNI Participants

St. Nicholas Institute Certificate of Achievement

During the annual Awards Gala, each St. Nicholas Institute participant receives the Certificate of Achievement, appropriate to the respective year(s) of attendance.



Order of St. Nicholas and the Order of St. Nicholas Medal

Medal Fourth year alumni are received as full members of the Order of St. Nicholas, upon conferral of the Order of St. Nicholas Medal.


Order of St. Nicholas Medal, and its accompanying SNI ribbon (shown above) protected by copyright.Copyright 2015, St. Nicholas Institute. All Rights Reserved.


Order of St. Nicholas Flag (shown above) protected by copyright.Copyright 2017, St. Nicholas Institute. All Rights Reserved.

St. Nicholas Medal of Honor

Upon completing eight years of participation, and after completing all prescribed requirements for qualification, members of the Order of St. Nicholas receive the St. Nicholas Medal of Honor. The St. Nicholas Medal of Honor is conferred in recognition of one’s personal fidelity in furthering the spiritual legacy of the outstanding 4th century Christian figure, Nicholas of Myra; in our own day. The value of committed Christian examples are reflected in the words of St. Paul of Tarsus: “Imitate me, as I imitate Christ.” ( I Cor. 11:1).

 




Ordinis Sancti Nicolaus Numisma  ("Order of St. Nicholas Medal"): This
October 7th will be the inaugural year for conferring the distinguished
"Ordinis Sancti Nicolai Numisma" ("Order of St. Nicholas Medal"). The medal
(pictured above) is to be presented to all members of the St. Nicholas Institute Alumni who
have completed four year of formation.

Sancte Nicolaus Numisma Honoris 
 ("St. Nicholas Medal of Honor"): The medal
will be presented in the future to all members of the St. Nicholas Institute
Alumni who have completed eight years of formation.

10:00 p.m.: Return Trip to St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center


10:15 p.m. Arrival at Retreat Center (Informal Social)
Friendly Reminder: St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center is set aside as a place of prayer and reflection, as well as an ideal environment for individual enrichment, please be advised that beer, wine and/or any form of alcoholic beverage is strictly prohibited during our entire stay.

Thursday, October 5, 2017
7:00 a.m.: Rise and Shine

7:20 - 7:40 a.m. Departure Prep  Strip bed linens, gather towels in room (Laundry hampers are located in retreat hallways). Pack travel bags for later departure.

7:45 a.m.: Morning Prayer (Retreat Center Chapel)

8:00 – 8:45 a.m.: FULL Breakfast (Dining Room)




8:45 -9:30 a.m.,Session IX: Guest Presenter: Catrina Ganey (New York Stage and Screen Actress) “Speak Louder Than Words: The Power of Non-Verbal Communication” 

9:45 – 10:45 a.m.:- Session : Group Sharing (Main Conference Room) Facilitator: Fr. Joseph, Executive Director 


11:00 a.m.: Closing Para-liturgy & Commissioning Service for Institute Participants

Those who wish to do so (Catholic or non-Catholic), will be blessed with the
*"Manna of St. Nicholas" at the end of the Liturgical Celebration as part of
the formal commissioning.
 

*NOTE: The "Manna of St. Nicholas" is a liquid that has miraculously flowed
from the bones of St. Nicholas of Myra for centuries, and continues to do
so to this very day (see: Numbers 20:11).


12 Noon: Informal Group Photo (Retreat House Courtyard)  NOTE: Don't forget to bring your camera!


Departure time 12:15 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. 

*FINAL NOTE: Prepared bag lunches "to go" are available on Thursday, at a modest additional charge.  Please see Marcia Sansotta on Tuesday morning, if you wish to make these arrangements.



Benefits to Attendees Include:

  • Private room and private shower

  • All meals

  • Spiral binder (first year students)

  • All hand-out materials

  • Dinner reservation at formal St. Nicholas Institute Awards Gala

  • Chartered transportation to and from Banquet & Conference Center

  • St. Nicholas Institute Certificate of Achievement (Distinct Design for each year attended)

  • Symbolic Bishop’s Ring (1st year participants)

  • Order of St. Nicholas Medal and Copyrighted Ribbon (4th Year Participants)

6th Annual St. Nicholas Institute Monday, October 2nd thru Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Conducted at the Beautifully Serene Atmosphere of St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center, Detroit, MI

Registration Now Closed


ABOUT

HO-HO-HOLY!

SEMINAR

STAFF

AWARDS GALA & HONOREES

DONATE & SPONSOR

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