Parish life

New Cathedral Nativity scene invites the community renew its hope after a challenging 2020

November 27, 2020

In a year marked by tragedy, isolation and sorrow, the Catholic Church in Wollongong is inviting the community to renew their hope by visiting a brand-new, beautifully constructed nativity scene on the grounds of St Francis Xavier Cathedral from Sunday 28 November.

Wollongong Cathedral’s Nativity scene is inspired by a rich tradition dating back to the 13th century, when St Francis of Assisi created the first nativity set to remind children and adults that true happiness can only be found when we look beyond our material circumstances.

The vicar general of the Diocese of Wollongong, Fr Bernard Gordon, says one of the great themes of Advent is the consolation God brings to his people—especially in the midst of trials like the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Advent is a season of hope and fulfilment of long-held expectations,” he says. “As we prepare to celebrate the arrival of the Infant Jesus, we are reminded that despite the difficulties we face in life, there is a joy freely available to us that transcends our immediate circumstances.”

The Nativity scene is located outdoors on the Cathedral grounds and will remain open throughout December. A range of COVIDsafe measures will be in place to support the safety and wellbeing of people visiting the scene.

Fr Bernard says the beauty of the love shared by Jesus, Mary and Joseph reminds us of the importance of showing love and comfort to others, especially during difficult times.

“We are inviting everyone to experience this sense of love and comfort by spending some time before the Christmas crib,” says Fr Bernard. “It’s our hope that people will leave renewed and ready to spread the peace and joy that is at the heart of the Christmas message, and needed more than ever this year.”

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