YOU'RE INVITED! Monday, October 2nd thru Thursday, October 5th, 2017
St. Nicholas, Santa, Mrs. Claus Professionals and Serious Amateurs From
Across North America
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 “St. Nick” amateur in
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 informative seminar sessions held within a warm
environment that encourages mutual sharing, socializing and building
comradery is all shared among faith-based men and women who recognize that
"Jesus is", indeed, "the reason for the Season."
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 program is uniquely designed for cross-training of
individuals to effectively portray Santa Claus and St. Nicholas for a
wide variety of venues (both secular and religious). Just as
importantly, the program encourages a 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
Founder and Executive Director, St. Nicholas Institute,
is likewise the pastor of Sacred Heart Byzantine Catholic
Church, Livonia, MI. Possessing over 43 years of
professional Santa Claus and St. Nicholas experience. Fr. Joseph is
an Emmy Award winning Santa, was judged “Super
Santa” by The Detroit News, and is also a member of the
Santa Claus Hall of Fame. Most recently, He appeared as St.
Nicholas and Santa Claus, accompanied by six puppet characters of his
creation, for the children’s Christmas DVD, “Saint to Santa: How
St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus.” (See “Saint to Santa”
trailer and additional information, below).
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.
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 2016 Guest instructor list.
announcement of each year’s team of instructors is announced on this
web site every June 1st.)
Saint to Santa: How Saint Nicholas Became Santa Claus
(Pauline Books & Media, $19.95, 36 MINUTES, ISBN: 0-8198-9042-1)
is available at all Pauline Books & Media Book Centers, or call
TOLL FREE at 1-800-876-4463.
to Santa offers a unique behind the scenes view of a television
show created by children accompanied by six original puppet characters
created by puppeteer, Fr. Joseph Marquis. Discover how a
beloved Christian saint became Santa Claus, as Saint Nicholas tells his
The script is co-authored by the gifted six time
Emmy Award winning director, producer and author, Chris
Stepien (“Three Days: The Search for the Boy Messiah”), and
Fr. Marquis, an Emmy Award winning Santa Claus and
founder of the St. Nicholas Institute, is pastor of Sacred Heart
Byzantine Catholic Church; Livonia, MI.
cueing the action, along with a host of zany puppets running the studio,
Saint to Santa will prompt giggles and cheers for the kind
saint whose joy reminds us that Christmas is the birthday of Christ our
As Chris Stepien playfully describes this
one-of-a-kind DVD: “Saint to Santa is ‘The Muppets’ meet ‘Laugh-In’
for a sit down with St. Nick! It combines history, entertainment, humor,
music and song, actors and puppets to tell the spiritual story behind the
great saint we commonly know as Santa Claus. Saint to Santa is all about
the joy that baby Jesus brings. Both kids and their parents will love this
Father Joseph Marquis noted.
“St. Nicholas reminds us all that the same Holy Spirit that animated
his life can make all of us ‘HO-HO-HOLY’, too.”
“Saint to Santa” DVD Extras include:
Two original Saint Nicholas “follow the bouncing snow
ball” songs for children to sing along
Activities and Coloring Pages
Fun ways to celebrate with St. Nicholas
More background on the saint
10 catechetical activities for children ages 3-9 (for home or classroom)
to Santa is the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for child on your
Christmas list, who “already has