What do Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity do when the teachers among them are officially on vacation for Christmas? Among the usual cleaning and decorating around the convent, Sisters at San Xavier Convent together frosted gingerbread houses and used various candies to make them uniquely original. Of course, this was one of those times a festive apron of personal choice was a need to add more color to the live action scene.

Christmas tradition tells us that now is really a perfect time for gingerbread to be enjoyed. Though we now look upon this sweet treat as more a cookie than actual bread, it can be traced to ancient Rome. It is thought the crusaders brought back the recipe of spicy dough from the Middle East. Ginger was considered not only to have an interesting flavor, it actually is a preservative.  According to the French, gingerbread was brought to Europe in 992 by the Armenian monk, Gregory of Nicopolis (Gregory Makar). Gregory, who is known for his holiness,  is also remembered for sharing his love for gingerbread baking with priests and other Christians. Gingerbread is really a food item that has helped to bring good news to others.