Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Keeping Christ in Christmas: Displays of Domestic Crèche Scenes

January 7th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie
Crèche display at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester, New York.

Crèche display at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester, New York.

For eleven years Sacred Heart Cathedral has displayed crèches from around the world. I believe crèches from a collection at the University of Dayton are often featured. This year’s display is running until this Sunday and is worth a last minute trip to view.

One of the display cases at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

One of the display cases at the Saint Jerome exhibit.

A display of crèches was also offered this year at Saint Jerome Church in East Rochester but I think that one has come down.

Many years ago there was a show of crèches that were family favorites of parishioners at Saint Anne Church in Rochester. An inexpensive book was produced showing each crèche with an accompanying family story about the use of its crèche. Participating parishioners sacrificed the use of their crèches that year in order to share them with other parishioners and those visiting to see the display; a nice way to keep Christ in Christmas!

shc2015 2b

Each case in the exhibits at both Sacred Heart Cathedral and at St. Jerome’s display multiple crèches.

Local collector, John Larish, has been the motivating force behind all of these displays. If you wish to contact him, send me an email ( and I will put you in touch with him.


2 Responses to “Keeping Christ in Christmas: Displays of Domestic Crèche Scenes”

  1. true faith says:

    This is wonderful ! I think that this is a wonderful opportunity to create a sense of Christian community and fellowship as well as teaching the true Gospel circumstances of our Savior’s birth. We might not ever pinpoint the exact date and season of Jesus Christ’s birth ( the oriental Jews never observed birthdays – it is a Western custom ) , however, the truly significant details are recorded in the Gospel of Luke . Mary , who was in the later stages of pregnancy, was taken to Bethlehem with Joseph for the census, although it wasn’t necessary for anyone but the male head of household to go. This speaks of the concern and care of Joseph regarding Mary; of how she would be treated by the others left behind who believed that she had become pregnant through illicit relations . Joseph, also had his ” visitation ” proclaiming that Mary was sinless and the child in her womb was divinely conceived . It must have been difficult traveling with a pregnant wife ready to deliver and Mary must have had to endure discomfort during this journey .Mary and Joseph weren’t probably as quick to find an Inn as the other travelers, because Mary was in the late stages of pregnancy and they travelled much slower than the others. They were forced to bed down with the animals because it was too late to travel further and she was close to giving birth . Hence, Jesus was born in a place for animals and his bassinet was a manger ( a feeding trough for beasts of burden ) his first worshippers were shepherds who were interrupted by heavenly angel messengers while tending their sheep in the fields.

  2. Hopefull says:

    That’s a beautiful summary, True Faith. I heard recently (I think on EWTN) that Joseph and Mary’s trek would have taken them along the path trod by Jacob and Rachel. They would have passed the memorial to Rachel, who went into childbirth with Benjamin while traveling, and died. What a memory to be brought to Joseph and Mary’s attention. Yet, very soon, the words about Rachel weeping for her children would be heralded by the Slaughter of the Holy Innocents.

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