(Breese, IL) – HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese invites the community to come view dozens of unique nativity sets from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 7 in the hospital’s Heritage Room. Information on the Franciscan heritage of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, founders of the Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS), will also be on display at this Franciscan Sunday event hosted by the hospital’s Mission in Action Committee.
“Our Franciscan Sunday nativity showcase will be a wonderful way to celebrate the Epiphany – the presentation of gifts to the infant Jesus by the Magi. Many nativity sets include the three kings bearing their gold, frankincense, and myrrh for the Christ Child in the manger,” said Mission co-director Sue Darr. “Our colleagues are excited to share their nativity sets – from whimsical figures to family heirlooms. Everyone is invited to join the fun,” Darr added.
Mission co-director and Chief Nursing Officer Helen Essenpreis explained the history and connection. “In 1223, St. Francis of Assisi began the tradition of commemorating the birth of Christ with a live nativity near the city of Greccio, Italy,” said Essenpreis. “He was concerned that the hermitage would be too small for Christmas Midnight Mass. He set up an altar near the town square, and in a niche in a nearby rock he prepared a manger with hay, and gathered an ox and an ass to illustrate the story of Jesus’ birth. Townspeople carrying torches and singing praise attended, and the tradition of the Christmas crèche was born.”
Heritage Room doors will open at noon for this free, open-house style event.
For more information, please contact Sue Darr, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Co-Mission Director, at (618) 526-5451