When the students at St. Mary's Springs Academy returned from Christmas break, they gathered for the "Blessing of the Doors." This is an Epiphany tradition in which the doors above their classrooms are blessed for the new year.
Father Bob of Holy Family did the honors at the Primary Campus, with the help of Kindergarten student, Ben Reinke. Fr. Ryan blessed the doors at St. Mary's Middle School. They mark the doors with blessed chalk, with the initials of the first names of the three Magi and the year.
The Blessing of the Doors has root in Polish and German customs. It recalls the visit of the Magi, strangers in a foreign land, and how they were welcomed by Mary and Joseph at the stable in Bethlehem. The blessing reminds us of the welcome that we owe to all who visit us, regarding them as nothing less than Christ himself, or as Scripture has it, "Do not neglect hospitality, for through it, some have unknowingly entertained angels." (Hebrews 13:2)
Tradition holds that the doors are chalked with a combination of the letters of the initials of the Magi and the numbers of the new year. For 2013, it would look like 20 + C + M + B + 13 (Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar).