St Nicholas Institute, Famous Santa Joseph Marquis, Professional Santa, School For Santa

  About the Institute
  2014 Schedule
  Areas of Study
  Fr. Joseph Marquis
  St. Nicholas of Myra
  A St. Nicholas Minute
  The Modern Santa
  St. Nicholas Center
  Basilica of St. Nicholas
2014 Awards Banquet
2014 Awards Banquet Reservations
2014 Award Winners
  2013 Award Winners
  2012 Award Winners
  Video Scrapbook

Fr. Joseph Marquis

Famous Santa, Fr. Joseph Marquis, St Nicholas Institute

Fr. Joseph Marquis is a Catholic priest (Byzantine Rite) serving as pastor of Sacred Heart Byzantine Catholic Church, Livonia, MI. For ten years, he served as Director of Pastoral Care at Detroit's Holy Cross Hospital, until its closure in the fall of 2003. Prior to that, Fr. Joseph was a resident chaplain for one year at Children's Hospital of Michigan (Detroit, MI), where he received a year of clinical pastoral formation within a pediatric setting. Accompanied by his puppet, "Terry the Dinosaur," Marquis drew upon his skills as a ventriloquist to entertain children being prepared for surgery. Needless to say, he was often called upon to arrange clinical visits from Santa Claus during the Christmas Season.

As a young artist he joined the parade crew of Detroit's famed J.L. Hudson Thanksgiving Day Parade for 3 years and later became the official Santa for the parade. Marquis was with the parade from 1977 through 1989. Until his call to ordained ministry, and his eventual career in clinical chaplaincy, Fr. Joseph was employed for a number of years as a restoration artist; repairing and repainting department store mannequins at a studio in downtown Detroit's Greektown area.

Famous Santa Claus, Fr. Joseph Marquis, St Nicholas Institute

Years of Professional Experience: 
40 Christmases (December 2011)


EMMY AWARD WINNER (The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences) Won for portraying Santa in holiday musical television special featuring several artists, including The Four Tops and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (WXYZ-TV/ABC, Detroit).

SUPER SANTA AWARD Title conferred by The Detroit News, as the "Best Santa in the land...Super Santa."

GO-4-IT! AWARD Presented by WDIV-TV (Detroit) for Santa Claus work with: crippled children, area hospitals, nursing homes, homes for the aged, etc.

AWARD OF APPRECIATION Citing 20 years of professional Santa service to Macomb Mall, Roseville, Michigan, and Schostak Properties.

EMMY AWARD WINNING PRODUCTION Starred as Santa Claus for the Emmy Award winning television program, Santa Goes Back in Time (WXYZ-TV, ABC - Detroit).

2 EMMY AWARD NOMINATED PRODUCTIONS performing in Christmas commercial with own original copyrighted puppet character design named, "Troll Hozz."


Screen Actors Guild
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

Video Courtesy: WDIV-TV (NBC/Detroit) and WTVS-Public Broadcasting Service (PBS/Detroit)


J.L. Hudson's Thanksgiving Day Parade (CBS National Broadcasts / ABC Television -Detroit / WDIV Television - Detroit)

Detroit Renaissance Thanksgiving Day Parade (CBS National Broadcasts / ABC Television -Detroit / WDIV Television - Detroit)

Michigan's Thanksgiving Day Parade (CBS National Broadcasts / ABC Television - Detroit)

LIVE appearances for both nationally and locally produced television and radio broadcasts.

Numerous appearances for a variety of nationally and locally aired television and radio commercials.

Extensive commercial print experience.

Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland, Frankenmuth, MI
Perform annually as St. Nicholas for 4 weekend shows at the world's largest Christmas store, Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland, Frankenmuth, MI.

Portrayed St. Nicholas, and created the original script and music, for the video:
How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus: The True Story (St. Paul Video, Boston). Broadcasts seen on EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network).

Illustrated and co-authored workbook to How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus 
(St. Paul Video, Boston).

Profiled in documentary: Santa Claus is Alive & Well & Living in Detroit
(WTVS/PBS, Detroit).

Appeared in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (brief Christmas parade sequence).

Songwriter and vocal performer for the children's song: "I'm Old St. Nicholas."

Instructor and Founder of: THE Super Santa Training Seminars.

Founder and Executive Director of the St. Nicholas Institute. This one-of-a-kind (three day) training symposium is designed for the integrated formation of aspiring St. Nicholas and Santa Claus professionals. (Inauguration Date: Detroit, MI; October 2012)

Annually appears at: department stores, shopping mall Santa arrivals, private clubs, LIVE radio/television appearances, promotions, holiday concerts, breakfasts, luncheons, etc

Presently authoring a soon-to-be published memoir on 4 decades of personal experiences as a professional Santa Claus / St. Nicholas.

Santa Claus Hall of Fame, Santa Hall Of Fame

Elected to the Santa Claus Hall of Fame, class of 2011, in Santa Claus, Indiana on December 22, 2011. 

Detroit Free Press "Livonia pastor is Santa Claus Hall of Famer, veteran of Hudson's parades".
(story archived / abstract below)
Dec 25, 2011 - Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. In fact, the world has an estimated 12,000 of them. And here in metro Detroit, one is special among all of the Santa Clauses. He lives at a church in Livonia when he's not at the North Pole. And he still possesses the booming baritone voice that erstwhile children remember chortling "Ho, ho, ho!" from floats in the J.L. Hudson Co.'s Thanksgiving Day parades of the 1970s and '80s. Last week, the Rev. Joseph Marquis, 62, who still dons his elaborate Santa and St. Nicholas costumes after 40 years of charming kids from 1 to 92, was named to the Santa Claus Hall of Fame in Santa Claus, Indiana.

Oakland Press "Local pastor inducted into Santa Claus Hall of Fame." 

Ave Maria Catholic Public Radio, Catholic Connection with Teresa Tomeo "Interview with Fr. Joseph Marquis." "Livonia priest takes Santa Claus mission to new level."



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