Dedham church uses nativity scene to call attention to immigration issue

Last year, the church used its nativity scene to bring awareness to mass shootings.

An unconventional nativity display was set up outside of a church in Dedham.
–Courtesy of Father Stephen Josoma to The Boston Globe

St. Susanna Parish’s nativity scene features the typical statues of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, but there’s a few important differences that set the Dedham church’s display apart — the cage around baby Jesus and what appears to be a fence separating the holy family and three wise men.

A blue-and-white banner poses the question, “Peace on Earth?,” while a sign reading “Deportation” featuring an arrow points toward the wise men behind the fence.

The church hopes to draw attention to immigration and the treatment of those at the border between the United States and Mexico, according to The Boston Globe

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“We thought we would kind of put a mirror image of what it would look like if this happened 2,000 years ago,” Father Stephen Josoma told the newspaper. “It’s kind of a mirror image of where we are at today.”

Josoma added the display isn’t meant to be a protest of President Donald Trump’s administration or its policies.

It’s not the first time the church has used its nativity scene to call attention to a national political issue.

Last year, the church had blue-and-white signs posted behind the manger with the number of people who died in 16 mass shootings, including Columbine High School in 1999 and ones that occurred afterward. 

Members who came up with the idea say it isn’t there to shock people.

“We’re not trying to scandalize anyone,” parishioner Pat Ferrone, a member of the Pax Christi committee that came up with the idea for the display, told CBS Boston. “We’re trying to reflect back a reality that has to be looked at.”

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