“When the SCL lit up Christmas trees on Mars” by Tonya Crawford, SCL Archivist

In late 1959, Christmas was coming and the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth had a brainstorm, which was to create their own Christmas songs. Two compositions, Space Age Santa Claus and When Christmas Bells Are Ringing, were written, recorded, and distributed. This story, by archivist Tonya Crawford, discusses how these songs came about, as well as their impact.

Download the story here.


Sister Mary Madeleva (without suitcase) and Sister Rose Anne Colvin (with suitcase) prepare to board the train to Yakima, Wash., to record the songs, November 1960.


Either Sister Madeleva or Rose Anne stand in the middle of the Dehli Recording Studio in Yakima, Wash., as The Hal Bradley Orchestra and Patty Marie Jay rehearse.


Sister Rose Anne Colvin (right) holds the printed sheet music for “Space Age Santa Claus” while Sister Mary Madeleva holds “When Christmas Bells are Ringing.”


Watch the video HERE!