Display the Good News

Avid Nativity set collector: Display the good news

Monsignor Raymond Riffle is Vicar General of the Diocese of Greensburg and the Rector of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Greensburg.

I have had a lifelong affinity for Nativity sets. I’ve collected nearly 50 of them over the years, in all different shapes and sizes. Each of them is a simple reminder that during his birth, Jesus was surrounded by simple people who were united by the call of the angels to come and see the newborn King. This single scene teaches us about God’s willingness to become one of us.

Just before the onset of the pandemic, in December 2019, our Holy Father Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter on the meaning and the importance of the Nativity scene. He called it a wonderful sign that should be displayed in homes and public places all over the world.

He wrote: “With this letter, I wish to encourage the beautiful family tradition of preparing the Nativity scene in the days before Christmas, but also the custom of setting it up in the workplace, in schools, hospitals, prisons and town squares.”

His message was to all of us, and his letter gives each of us a very tangible way to evangelize. Each one of us can help to spread the good news about the birth of Jesus.


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