December 8, 2022 // Diocese

Blessed Wooden Outdoor Nativity Sets Remind Others of True Meaning of Christmas

It’s that time of the year when most people are thinking about decorating for Christmas. Bishop Luers High School joined in this year with a special décor offering, painted wooden Nativity yard scenes made to weather all sorts of winter cold and precipitation.

Rose Ann Scranton
Rose Ann Scranton displays an outdoor Nativity set in her front yard that she purchased through a Bishop Luers High School fundraiser this year.

Bishop Luers partnered with the Catholic Business Exchange in Indianapolis, which coordinates Nativity set fundraisers in the Indianapolis metro area. Bishop Luers students sold 69 Nativity sets this fall between Sep. 21 and Oct. 10.

The outdoor Nativity scene movement was born last year through the inspiration of Catholic Business Exchange founder Jim Liston. In an interview, Liston said that he always had the intention of buying an outdoor Nativity scene but hadn’t acted on it until recently. He purchased one in November of 2020, and he enjoyed having it on the lawn. He said the scene made him feel great because the Nativity was the true meaning of Christmas, versus putting up a blow-up Frosty the Snowman or Santa Claus. In a January 2021 Business Exchange meeting, Jim mentioned the Nativity set he bought and the idea he had of making Central Indiana the outdoor Nativity scene capital of the United States. Since he mentioned this idea, the project has grown and people have taken on the challenge.

Liston contacted the manufacturer, located in Michigan, and made an agreement with them to sell Nativity scenes at a discounted rate through schools and parishes. Each participating location can then sell them as a fundraiser to further their Catholic mission. According to Liston, in 2021, 10 schools, parishes, and Knights of Columbus groups participated and sold 600 Nativity scenes. This number grew in 2022 to 28 groups selling 1,375 Nativity scenes. Liston said, “We know that close to 1,900 of these kits are now going to be adorning front yards throughout the next 5 to 6 weeks.”

Ron Wise
Msgr. Bill Stumpf, Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, blesses all of the outdoor nativity sets before they are sent out to participating locations for distribution.

Msgr. Bill Stumpf, Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, blessed the Nativity sets prior to their shipment to participating locations.  People who have come to pick up their kits have all had good things to say about the kits and were appreciative of the fact that they have been blessed. Several plan to put up spotlights to shine on their Nativity set in the yard. Bishop Luers currently has theirs set up in the courtyard next to the St. Francis of Assisi statue.

Based on this year’s success, Bishop Luers anticipates taking part in this fundraiser again next year.

* * *

The best news. Delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe to our mailing list today.