Archdiocese Local

Living Nativity set for Dec. 9 in Lawrence

Molly Brown, a member of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence, portrays a shepherd in the 2022 Living Nativity in Lawrence. This year, the Franciscan Servants of the Holy Family will put on a Living Nativity from 1 to 4 p.m. on Dec. 9 at the Community Indoor Arena at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 1930 Harper St., Lawrence. COURTESY PHOTO

by Joe Bollig

LAWRENCE — How do you like your camels — one hump or two?

It really doesn’t matter when it comes to Nativity creches. In addition to the Holy Family, one “must have” thing for the traditional creche is a camel, regardless of the number of humps.

There will indeed be a camel — along with the usual animal suspects (but no Jayhawk) — at the Franciscan Servants of the Holy Family Living Nativity from 1 to 4 p.m. on Dec. 9 at the Community Indoor Arena at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 1930 Harper St., Lawrence.

This is a free event open to the public, but donations will be gratefully accepted to defray the costs of holding the event.

Children will have an opportunity to pet some of the animals and engage in some arts and crafts activities. Music will be provided by the St. John the Evangelist Parish choir and a keyboardist. In addition to the traditional Nativity scene with live re-enactors, there will be a scene of the Annunciation.

There will be recitations of the story of how St. Francis of Assisi invented the first Nativity creche and the Nativity story taken from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.

Cookies, hot chocolate and coffee will be available.

This is the fifth year the Franciscan Servants have presented a Nativity creche in Lawrence, but it’s also the 800th anniversary of the first Nativity creche set up by St. Francis in a cave near Greccio, Italy, said Sister Doris Engeman, FSHS.

The reason why the Sisters, assisted by volunteers, are setting up the Living Nativity again since they began doing so in 2019 is the same reason why St. Francis made the first one.

“It’s a simple, very visual reminder of the reason we celebrate Christmas,” said Sister Doris. “It always amazes me how in the churches, after Mass, the little children run up to the Nativity scene. They stand there as their parents talk to them about the birth of Jesus.”

About the author

Joe Bollig

Joe has been with The Leaven since 1993. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in journalism. Before entering print journalism he worked in commercial radio. He has worked for the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press and Sun Publications in Overland Park. During his journalistic career he has covered beats including police, fire, business, features, general assignment and religion. While at The Leaven he has been a writer, photographer and videographer. He has won or shared several Catholic Press Association awards, as well as Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara awards for mission coverage. He graduated with a certification in catechesis from a two-year distance learning program offered by the Maryvale Institute for Catechesis, Theology, Philosophy and Religious Education at Old Oscott, Great Barr, in Birmingham, England.

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