October 26, 2014

Local church pleads for return of manger

Stolen manger and baby Jesus will cost church $2,400 to replace

James Kuch
On Dec. 24, a figurine of baby Jesus and a manger were stolen from this nativity scene located outside of Resurrection of the Lord Catholic Church on W. Cedar Street.
By James Kuch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com
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STANDISH — Resurrection of the Lord Catholic Church in Standish is pleading for any information that could lead to the return of Jesus and a manger to its nativity scene alongside of W. Cedar Street.

Father James Fitzpatrick said that the baby Jesus figurine and a manger, which have been missing since Dec. 24, would cost $2,400 to replace. He added that he hopes anyone with knowledge of who took the figurine and the manger will come forward.

“The fact that someone did this is a total lack of respect,” he said. “It’s absolutely senseless.”

When the nativity scene was purchased four years ago, Fitzpatrick said the baby Jesus and the manger cost $1,900. Now that cost is up to $2,400 and Fitzpatrick said it would be extremely hard to replace.

“That’s why we just want to see it returned,” he said.

Fitzpatrick said that had the items been returned by Friday, Jan. 7, no charges would have been filed. He added that a report has since been filed with the Arenac County Sheriff’s Department.

Fitzpatrick said that one anonymous citizen has offered $500 for information leading to the return of the items.

“We are just reaching out to the community for help,” he said. “This is a small community and was can’t allow this to continue.”

Fitzpatrick said Resurrection of the Lord Catholic Church may have to add more cameras for security, a cost he said will be hard for the church to cover.

“It is looking like we are going to have to do something,” he said. “At some point the church has to take a stand. We have a number of shrines (on our property), and we must protect what is ours.”

Fitzpatrick said that churches across the nation are suffering from the poor economy, and adding more cost is not easy.

“We just want these items back,” he said. “If someone wants to come forward and stay anonymous with any information that is fine.”

Fitzpatrick said anyone with information can contact Resurrection of the Lord Catholic Church at 989-846-9565.

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