For the second straight year, Associate Mickie Prault took his place of prominence. He donned the big red suit, beard and black boots, as he transformed into the jolly old elf himself, Santa.

Santa, played by Associate Mickie Prault, listens intently.

Prault took his familiar seat during the Breakfast with Santa event held after Sunday’s 9 a.m. Family Mass at Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais. Once again, the day was a huge hit, with nearly 100 children clamoring to share their wish lists with Santa.

“We are so blessed to have so many children at Mass,” parish leaders said. “Thank you for bringing your children and blessing us. They are truly a gift from God.”

For Prault, the chance to listen to children and offer unconditional love in the confines of the parish center, underscored his desire to live out his faith as an associate.

“I hope to be able to add my name to the rolls of those who are making a difference in the world,” Prault says, “by bringing the faith to those who need to hear the story of God’s love.”

Prault has been involved at Maternity BVM for years and just last summer made his first commitment as an associate. He is a retired systems manager for State Farm, who leads the Fishers of Men ministry, which draws men in the parish to meet every Saturday morning for spiritual formation and fellowship. He also is a member of the Pastoral Council, where he co-leads the adult faith formation commission.

As an active parishioner, Prault advances Maternity’s stated mission, of being “missionary disciples radiating the light and love to all.”

However, as an associate, he works in tandem with the professed at the parish to animate the Viatorian mission of “building up communities where faith is lived, deepened and celebrated.”