Second annual international crèche exhibit opens at Notre Dame

Author: Brett Robinson

Christmas Nativity scenes from around the world will be on display at the University of Notre Dame from Nov. 18 through Jan. 31.

Créches from Around the World: Mexico Créches from Around the World: Mexico

The 31 crèches, on loan from The Marian Library at the University of Dayton, will be located at several sites on the Notre Dame campus. The University’s Institute for Church Life is sponsoring the exhibit to celebrate the Christmas season and highlight the beauty and diversity of religious culture.

The theme of this year’s exhibit is “Love Incarnate with Us Dwells,” a lyric from a traditional Christmas hymn, “O Hearken Ye,” by Alfred S. Burt and Wihla Hutson. The theme is focused on the tenderness of God as it is revealed in the Nativity sets on display.

This year, the crèches from Canada, Australia, South America, Europe and the United States will be on display in the Eck Visitors Center, the Morris Inn, Geddes Hall, the Coleman-Morse Center and the Main Building. The exhibit will open at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 18) in the Eck Visitors Center auditorium with a lecture titled “Dwelling with Love Incarnate: Living the Mystery of the Nativity in Family Life,” from Timothy O’Malley, professor and director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy.

At 2:30 p.m. Dec. 6 (Sunday), the public is invited to meet at the Eck Visitors Center to make a pilgrimage in prayer and song while visiting the exhibit locations. Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., will welcome pilgrims to the Main Building. Families are encouraged to bring the baby Jesus figures from their own crèches for a blessing. Refreshments will be served.

The lecture and pilgrimage are both free and open to the public. Visitors are invited to take a self-guided tour of the exhibit using a full-color booklet that can be found at any of the display sites. Each crèche reflects the particularity of its native culture while pointing to the universal joy experienced by Christians at the birth of Jesus Christ. Full details, including times and locations, are available at

Contact: Brett Robinson, Institute for Church Life, 574-631-6109,