ST. JOSEPH — The Church of St. Joseph wants your help to find nativity scene figures that church officials say were stolen from a display on the church’s front lawn.
The Rev. Jerome Tupa, the church’s pastor, says figures of Mary, Joseph and three sheep were stolen late Thursday night or early Friday morning. A week earlier, on Thanksgiving Day, a shepherd figure was stolen, Tupa says.
That leaves the nativity scene, located at the intersection of Minnesota Street and College Avenue, almost bare with just a few barnyard animals remaining, Tupa said.
The thefts were reported to St. Joseph police and to authorities at College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, Tupa said.
The missing figures are about 3 feet tall and are made of plaster of Paris, Tupa said. Anyone with information should contact St. Joseph police at 363-8250.
Tupa says the figures could be valued at more than $1,000. They have a value beyond money for many parishioners, as they’ve been with the church for several decades, he said.
One positive is that the baby Jesus figure remains with the parish. It isn’t placed in the nativity scene until Christmas, Tupa said.
For now, Tupa says he hopes the thief or thieves of the figures will have a change of heart and return them.
“I frankly have been praying for the person that took it, that maybe this will be a moment of change in their life,” Tupa said. “There might be some good that comes out of it.
“I’m hoping for a miracle.”
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St. Joseph church reports stolen nativity figurines
December 9, 2013
St. Cloud Times