Catholic Schools Focus on Christmas Creche

Catholic Schools Focus on

Christmas Crèche

By Elisabeth Smith

Students passing through the halls of Mother of Sorrows Catholic School in Murrysville during the Christmas season are sure to discover Nativity scenes that depict the birth of Jesus — but they might look a bit different than usual.

Each year, students in the fifth-grade classes led by teachers Jennifer Bayer and Polly Beer work with their parents and siblings to create a homemade Nativity scene as part of their religion lessons.

“It has been a true blessing of an assignment,” Bayer said. “We incorporate reflection writing (and the) planning process, and then we see how much that plan changes throughout the course of the assignment. The children truly enjoy everything about this project.”

Beer adds that part of the fun of the project is that students are required to include eight characters in the Nativity scene — Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the three Wise Men, and perhaps the angel Gabriel, a shepherd or manger animals — but are allowed a lot of creative license in what represents these sacred figures.

“Our students get to choose any characters they would like based on the traditional story, but we do have students who add objects like Legos or their favorite superhero,” Beer said.

Last year, student Harrison Kreutel put a unique spin on the traditional manger scene, creating the background for his display using photos of New York City, where much of the action in Marvel
movies happens.

Student Aryanna Kelly chose a more classic approach by using traditional figures resting in hay. But she worked with her grandfather to poke holes in her diorama box and make space for battery-powered lights, which served as twinkling stars.

Other students chose to mix old and new together. Avni Vasudeva used traditional characters and a winter scene, but “just for fun” added streetlamps and a bench.

“It was a lot of fun,” she said of the project, which she also created with the help of her family.

See Mother of Sorrows School students’ Nativity scenes at the Murrysville school’s annual light-up night December 4. Following 4:30 PM Mass will be a free community dinner, a bonfire with s’mores, caroling, cookies and hot chocolate, a gingerbread house display, a living Nativity, a tree lighting and a Christmas gift shop. Information:


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