A NEW YORK CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER | Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation
S+L logo

at Saint Paul the Apostle
Featuring Regis Philbin and the Puppetry of Jane Henson

Filmed and produced December 24th, 2013 at The Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Manhattan, New York, Salt + Light is proud to broadcast and live stream A NEW YORK CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER.

Regis Philbin proclaims the Bible passages of the birth of Jesus as dramatized by the puppet characters created by the late Jane Henson. Originally named The Nativity Story, the performance has delighted audiences since 2008 and was produced and funded by daughters Cheryl Henson and Heather Henson. Throughout the hour long special, Philbin tells Biblical stories intercut with performances by Heather Henson, The Fordham University Choir, The National Children's Chorus and the St. Paul The Apostle Choir.

A NEW YORK CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER at St. Paul the Apostle is a joint production of The Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Paulist Productions, and Scott Mirkin Productions. Featuring the puppetry of Jane Henson.

The service includes musical performances by the St. Paul the Apostle Choir and Orchestra, the Fordham University Choir and the National Children's Chorus, and scriptural reflections by St. Paul's parishioners and Paulist priests.

   December 23rd, 2017 at 8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT

Jane Henson's "Nativity Story" Background

Jane Henson, the wife of Jim Henson and co-creator of the original Muppets, was inspired throughout her life by the classic story of the birth of Christ. Her long association with puppetry and her artistic Catholic background made the idea of a Christmas crèche whose figures "come to life" attractive to her.

Collaborating with like minds, including playwright Sean Keohane, set designer Vandy Wood, and her daughter Heather Henson, CEO of Ibex Puppetry, Jane created a new show based on the Gospels and medieval Christmas plays. Jane sculpted the puppets' heads and oversaw their design at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Her full "Nativity Story" toured theatres, churches, and even cathedrals. After Jane passed away in 2013, Fr. Eric Andrews of the Paulist Fathers suggested to Jane's daughters Heather and Cheryl Henson, President of the Jim Henson Foundation, that scenes from the show be taped for "A New York Christmas to Remember" at Manhattan's St Paul the Apostle Church, hosted by Regis Philbin.

Thanks to the generosity of the Henson family, Jane Henson’s full "Nativity Story" show with live sacred music is available for touring again in 2017. To support the show's unique mission or to bring a performance to your parish or community, visit: janehensonnativitystory.wordpress.com.

The Jim Henson Foundation

The Jim Henson Foundation was founded in 1982 by Jim Henson to promote and develop the art of puppetry. Each year the Foundation introduces thousands of adults and families to the magic of puppet theater through grant-making and public awareness efforts. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than 675 grants to more than 300 American puppet artists for the creation and development of new work.

The Church of St. Paul the Apostle

Located near Lincoln Center on Manhattan's West Side, the Parish of St. Paul the Apostle began years before the present church was built. It was founded at the same time the Paulist Fathers started in 1858. New York was a rapidly growing city of immigrants arriving by the hundreds every day from Europe. The present church was dedicated in 1858. Today, St. Paul's is a vibrant, growing, and welcoming parish. It is well known for its outreach to West Side.

Paulist Productions

Founded in 1960 by the late Fr. Ellwood "Bud" Kieser, Paulist Productions is an independent nonprofit organization that creates uplifting and inspirational content for all platforms. Throughout its fifty-year history Paulist Productions have aired on ABC, CBS, A&E, the History channel, the Hallmark Channel, among others. Paulist Productions has won numerous awards including six Emmys®, the Christopher Award, five Gabriel Awards and the Toronto International Film Festival Award. Recently, Paulist Productions co-produced two new films: Christmas for a Dollar and The Town that Came A-Courtin'. Both movies will appear on UP TV (formerly known as GMC/Gospel Music Channel) this winter.

Scott Mirkin Productions

Scott Mirkin Productions is a nationally recognized live event, design and media production company. Scott Mirkin Productions has been at the helm of some of the highest profile events and live TV productions in the United States including the VH1 Philly Fourth of July Jam and An Evening with James Taylor - celebrating 120 years of Carnegie Hall. From concept to completion, Scott Mirkin Productions delivers results on stage, on screen and online.