Tuesday, December 19, 2006Here's a strange little Chicago news story that may both warm your heart and make you shake your head in puzzlement.
Dozens of people looking for Jesus can find him at a church on Chicago's South Side.From CBS2 Chicago:
Thirty-two plastic baby Jesus dolls were stolen last week from nativity scenes in people's front yards. Then on Saturday morning a woman found all the missing Jesuses lined up along the fence on her lawn and she gave them to St. Symphorosa Church. The Rev. Marcel Pasciak said the woman was one of his parishioners at St. Symphorosa and "panicked" when she saw the dolls.
Fourteen of the dolls' rightful owners had claimed them by Tuesday morning. Pasciak said he thinks teenagers took the baby Jesuses as a joke and not as a religious statement. "Don't they look funny?" Pasciak said as residents came to claim their decorations. "We're putting Christ back into Christmas literally and metaphorically." [read full article on Chicago Tribune]
Father Marc Pasciak at St. Symphorosa is standing guard now over dozens of statues of Christ as a baby.[Image copyright CBS2 Chicago]
"'We've got 32 Jesuses," Pasciak said. The statues were unceremoniously dumped on a lawn, then delivered to the church to make their pilgrimage back to their own mangers. "If they had went to the police, they would have been put into evidence and wouldn't have been home for Christmas," said church employee Nancy Groszek.
Remarkably alike, how do you know which Jesus is yours? "I hope it's mine. It should be, but you know, you get nervous about these things and I don't want to take anybody else's baby Jesus," Dawn Chladek said. Chladek found hers and soon baby Jesus was back to take his rightful place.
Coincidentally, St. Symphorosa's Jesus was nearly stolen a couple of years ago. A guard had to chase the thief down. Now, when the manger goes up this week, it will be protected by Plexiglas and a lock. [read full article/see video on CBS2]