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Body recovered March 19, 2019 from Mississippi River near Hager City

Photos: St. Francis presents 'Miracle at Midnight'

Kindergarten and first grade St. Francis students enthrall the audience with their song, "O Come Little Children." Photo courtesy of St. Francis School1 / 5
"Joseph," played by Conner Flanigan, "Jesus" played by Jude Hanson, and "Mary" played by Jianna Jean are surrounded by manger animals Lane Rohl, Griffin Thompson, Samantha Augustine and June Feuerhelm. Photo courtesy of St. Francis School2 / 5
"Wisemen" Ian Nelson, Lori Moldenhauer, and Carly Girdeen overload their camel, "Flash" played by Maggie Pechacek, during the St. Francis Christmas program. Photo courtesy of St. Francis School3 / 5
A chorus of angels sings praises led by "Sergeant Seraphim," played by Maggie McHardy, at the St. Francis Christmas program. Photo courtesy of St. Francis School4 / 5
Kindergarten and first grade St. Francis students enthrall the audience with their song, "O Come Little Children." Photo courtesy of St. Francis School5 / 5

St. Francis Church in Ellsworth was with filled with the Christmas spirit when St. Francis Catholic Elementary School performed "Miracle at Midnight" for family and friends Dec. 12 and 13.

The star of the show, Baby Jesus, was played by Noah Thoner, son of Jeffrey and Natasha Thoner during the dress rehearsal performance on Wednesday afternoon and for the Thursday evening performance. Jude Hanson stole the show in the starring role. Jude is the nephew of fifth grader Jianna Jean who portrayed Mary in the program.

The story began with a typical morning in Bethlehem with merchants and shepherds milling through town. Then, Mayor Mayer, played by Evie Puhrmann, appeared with her assistant Snitley, played by Oliver Truttman, announcing the tax decree and telling everyone to be prepared for numerous visitors as many will be returning to their birthplace in the very near future. Next, the attention focuses on the angels as they prepare to tell the shepherds of the coming of the Savior. The three wisemen are already on their way, but have overpacked and overloaded their camel who is not at all happy with her load. Finally, the Angel Chorus rings out in glorious song as everyone joins in with songs of praise to greet the Newborn King.

After the evening performance, Mike Buss and James Jean from the Knights of Columbus presented Christmas Poster Contest winners with monetary prizes. Home and School Association officers Katie Feuerhelm and Ryann Bauer gifted cheese boxes to teachers and staff and everyone was invited to the parish hall for a reception.

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