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UPDATE: Local group donates statue to replace stolen baby Jesus

Police ask for help returning the statue before Christmas

(WFRV) MENASHA, Wis. - UPDATE:  The Kaukauna street department has volunteered to replace the missing baby Jesus statue.  A replacement statue will be installed in the display in the next few days.

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The Menasha Police Department is looking for those responsible for stealing an infant Jesus statue from St. Patrick Church's nativity scene Sunday night. 

"it's a valuable thing for us and our parish," said Joe Des Jarlais, a parishioner at St. Patrick's. "It's kind of an irreplaceable thing that we have in our community."

This nativity scene has been displayed at the church for 20 years, but it's been a long-standing Christmas tradition in Menasha years before it was donated to the church by Laemmrich Funeral Home.

"These statues are over 100 years old," said Des Jarlais. "We have reconditioned them and had them repainted so that they're presentable."

But over the last several years, a new tradition has come about; stealing infant Jesus from the manger.  Menasha police say there are no cameras in the area to catch the person(s) responsible for this.

 

According to parishioners, some of the animals were moved around, the baby Jesus was taken, and a donkey was put in it's place.

"We're just hoping it comes back, just bring it back," said Joyce Naps, the stewardship coordinator at St. Patrick's.  "We don't feel we own it, we are kind of stewards for it, we are care givers of this beautiful nativity scene that is really a gift to the Neenah-Menasha community."

Naps says this is the first year they located it to the new green space next to Washington street.  For years, the nativity seen was put up in front of the church rectory.

"It's for people to enjoy a sense of Jesus Christ being born on Christmas, that's why we put it out there as a reminder that this is what's coming," said Des Jarlais.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Officer Adam Schulz at the Menasha police Department, 920-967-3500 or email him at aschulz@ci.menasha.wi.us

If you prefer to remain anonymous you can contact the Winnebago County Crime Stoppers at 920-231-8477 or text IGOTYA to 274637. You could be eligible for a reward! 


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