Living Nativity retelling includes live camel, donkey, goats

Local News

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WFRV): It’s a retelling of the Nativity Story like you’ve maybe never seen before.

It included real-life donkeys, goats, and a camel coming to the Holy Family Catholic Community Church in Fond du Lac on Sunday afternoon to retell the story of when Jesus was born.

“I was like wow that is such a big camel I didn’t expect it to be so tall,” says parishioner Rudy Vanden Avond.

“Instill in them a good understanding of the birth of Christ and to teach them about faith a little more in a very engaging and loving way,” says Holy Family Catholic Community pastor Ryan Pruess.

Volunteers dressed up as Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the three wise men, angels and all the other important people in the Nativity Story.

Ellie Thelen and three others played a group of women who did a celebratory dance in honor of Jesus’ birth.

“The text that they introduce the dancers says people of Israel rejoice, so where I got the inspiration for the dance was watching traditional Israeli folk dancing,” says Thelen.

Over 900 people filled the pews to take in the performance.

“I love performing in front of big crowd it makes you more excited when you have a big crowd like that,” says Thelen.

The animals stuck around after the performance to hang out with parishioners for a little bit in the annex.

Between the choir and all the actors, there were 125 people involved in this production. The church has performed the Nativity Story three times. They started it in 2016 and then performed it every two years, taking a break in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and doing it this year instead.

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