Who stole baby Jesus?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Edmundites report baby Jesus, stolen from nativity scene

By Dale James / Selma Times – Journal

Father Roger La charite was obviously distraught.

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Father Roger, as he is more familiarly known, is Edmundite Missions director. For nearly 20 years the Edmundites have been helping Selma to get in the Christmas spirit by erecting a Nativity display in front of the Edmundite Memorial Chapel on Broad Street.

The display features life-size statues of Mary, Joseph and Jesus, the three wise men, and the assorted animals so familiar from the biblical account of the birth of the Christ child.

Sometime Sunday night someone stole the figures of Mary and the baby Jesus.

The theft came to light about 7:30 Monday morning when a maintenance worker noticed the figures were missing. A police report has been filed.

Father Roger said the Edmundites have put up a Nativity scene every year since 1984. This is the first year the scene has ever been targeted by vandals. Because of its size and artistry, the Nativity scene is estimated to be worth several thousand dollars.

Father Roger said he does not view the vandalism as any sign of anti-Catholic sentiment. &uot;I would like to think it was nothing more than young people egging each other on to take a dare,&uot; he said. &uot;We just hope that whoever did this will come to their senses and return the statues.&uot;

He admitted that the nature of such a crime makes it tempting to speculate that we live in a society that is daily growing more depraved.

Does Father Roger think he can find it in his heart to forgive those responsible?