Holding the Baby Jesus, portrayed by Infant Sean Michael O'Connor, (son of Mike O'Connor, '61, and Cathy Enright O'Connor, ex '65) is Carol Goldschmidt, '66 (Mrs. Carol J. Ford) playing the Virgin Mary.
Annual selection of a student, ordinarily a member of the senior class, to portray the Christmas Madonna in a Nativity tableau, is a Marian College tradition cherished by those attending the college from 1943 to 1966. Portraits of the Madonna, frequently made by professional photographers, appeared regularly in the December issue of the Phoenix, the campus newspaper, as well as in the Indiana Catholic and Record (now the Criterion). Sister Mary Jane Peine, who taught art and theater from 1939 until the late '70s, together with other Sister faculty, selected the student and arranged the tableau, including the particular clothing the Madonna wore. Prior to 1959, the Infant was a life-size statue; beginning in December 1959, a live infant, either the child of alum or of a faculty member, became a regular feature. The Madonna's identity was usually unknown to other students until the actual event. The tableau was variously a feature of a Christmas party, pageant, or play (often written and directed by Sister Mary Jane) held for students shortly before the Christmas vacation. Music was ordinarily provided by campus musical groups-i.e., Bel Canto and A Capella choirs. After 1956, one-act plays became a standard feature of the annual Christmas program.