Diocesan News

Parish prepares annual Belén

Related: slideshow of photos

LINCOLN (SNR) – All are welcome to visit the annual “Christ in Christmas” nativity scene at Cristo Rey Parish at 4245 J St., Lincoln.

The 28-by-12-foot, highly detailed display will be open to the public 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily from Monday, Dec. 21 through Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016.

Built by volunteers, the scene is called a Belén (“Bethlehem” in Spanish). More than showing the birthplace of Christ, the Cristo Rey Belén also includes other Biblical scenes and settings, including Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Cana, the Sea of Galilee and Egypt. Every year–13 so far–there is something new. 

Saint Francis of Assisi is also part of the scene, since he is credited with beginning the tradition of building and displaying Nativity scenes.

In Italy, Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries, the tradition of Belén displays is enjoyed by many people, who visit different churches to view their creative, intricate masterpieces of faith, art and culture.

It takes an entire week for the team of volunteers to set up the manger scene at Cristo Rey. The crew includes Martin Pella of North American Martyrs Parish, Jose Casarin, who is originally from Monterey, Mexico, and Martin Garcia, who moved to the U.S. from Aguas Calientes, Mexico. Others are from Kenya, Peru, Vietnam, Spain, Ecuador, Guatemala and China. 

There is no admission fee to see the Belén. However, a collection is being raised to help build and fix Catholic churches in Kenya and support Nyumbani, an organization  that serves orphans and impoverished families, founded by the late Father Angelo D´Agostino, S.J., M.D. (www.nyumbani.org.) 

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