The 150th anniversary of the Diocese of Wilmington continues in early December with the premiere of a play presenting the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal.
“Everyday Holiness” will hit the stage on Dec. 2 at Immaculate Heart of Mary at 3 p.m.
The play was commissioned by the diocese as part of the sesquicentennial. It was written by Wilmington playwright and actress Johanna Schloss. St. Francis de Sales – the patron saint of the Diocese of Wilmington – was a 17th century bishop and doctor of the church, and he established the Order of the Visitation with St. Jane de Chantal.
The play features three contemporary adults considering the question, “What is a saint?”
“As the play unfolds, two of those transform to become the two saints, and the third becomes the central figure of the everyday, 21st-century person wondering how she fits in to what might be called ‘holy,’” Schloss said. “The play follows her through an average day, with the saints visiting and guiding her along the way.”
Lou De Angelo, the secretary of the Catholic Education Department for the diocese, said the saints engage in conversation in which it becomes evident that holiness is doing what we are called to do every day.
“We’re all called to be holy,” De Angelo said.
Schloss concurred. “Each of us is good because we were each created by God, designed by God, on purpose, to be ourselves and take what is good about ourselves into the world to others. Our lives don’t have to be spectacular, nor do we have to make headlines, for us to matter. We matter by being who God designed us and asks us to be.”
Jeff Dietzler will play St. Francis de Sales. Dietzler is a theater director, actor and performing arts teacher in the Wilmington and Philadelphia area. Amanda Curry, who also teaches in the area and has performed extensively, is Jane de Chantal. Allie Steele, a Philadelphia-based performer and teaching artist in Delaware, is Erin, the modern adult looking for inspiration and guidance.
“They have a real passion for using theater as a tool for learning, and I think they bring that sensibility to their work,” Schloss said.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Church is located at 4701 Weldin Road, Wilmington. The performance is open to the public and will conclude with prayer and light refreshments. A free-will offering will be taken.
According to De Angelo, future presentations of “Everyday Holiness” will be scheduled.
“The hope is that there are going to be four presentations. The other dates and sites have not been confirmed yet,” he said.