Vistiation Academy lights up Nativity scene

Family affair: Lauren Harley, husband Chris McElroy, and their daughter came out to usher in Christmas at Visitation Academy’s nativity scene lighting on Dec. 4.
Brooklyn Daily
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It’s a beloved holiday tradition.

Hundreds of locals bundled up and braved the chilly temperatures for the annual Nativity-lighting at Visitation Academy in Bay Ridge. The biblical event lit up revelers’ faces with an elegant display and festivities that embody the true spirit of Christmas, said one parent.

“It’s a beautiful ceremony. It really was a magical evening,” said Dyker Heights resident Lauren Harley whose daughter attends pre-Kindergarten at the campus. “It makes me really proud to send my daughter to a school where religious traditions are celebrated in a classic and beautiful way.”

A choir serenaded locals with seasonal songs including “Silent Night,” “O Holy Night,” and “Oh Come Let Us Adore Him.” After a countdown, the school campus was illuminated in shimmering decor. The dozen-or-so Nativity statues were lit up and small evergreen trees wrapped in white lights lined the property. It was a dazzling-yet-understated display, said Harley.

“It was very simple and classic,” she said. “It highlighted the symbols of the season — the Nativity scene and the trees. It was heart-warming.”

A Mass honoring two active community members followed the Nativity-lighting ceremony, and school leaders presented the St. Francis DeSales Award to William Bradley — a dedicated parent whose daughters attend the academy — and the Distinguished Faculty Award to second-grade teacher Noreen Romano, who has dedicated decades of her life to the academy.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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