Donate to save the Pittsburgh Crèche
Pittsburgh Creche a 'visual sermon'
Downtown Christmas tradition faces a funding crisis
Pittsburgh Catholic Staff Report
Now in its 13th year, the Pittsburgh Creche in U.S. Steel Plaza -- the world's only authorized replica of the Vatican's Christmas creche on display in St. Peter's Square -- stands as a reminder of God's great love for all of humanity. It is a sign of hope for all, a token of the presence and compassion of Jesus Christ.
It is intended as a visual sermon, said Father Ron Lengwin, vicar general/general secretary and chief spokesman for the diocese, who has been instrumental in the history of the project.
When one looks at the creche, he noted, they often reflect on what took place when they were a child and put up their own creche. It also serves as a form of evangelization.
He related how grandparents hold up children to teach them the story of the Nativity, or how the homeless come to pay homage at night or early in the morning.
"It's a community project that wants the real meaning of Christmas to prevail -- to keep Christ in Christmas," he said. "And that's what we're doing here in so many ways."
Father Lengwin also spoke of the volunteer efforts of construction union members and others who have come together through the years to erect the creche.
Despite the efforts, however, the creche still faces a funding crisis. Father Lengwin pointed out that while there were sufficient funds to erect the creche this year, there is a shortfall that could affect the dismantling of the structure.
While he does not intend to paint a bleak picture, he noted, he stressed that money is badly needed to support the creche.
"It costs a lot of money to put it up and take it down, despite all of the volunteer help," he said.
A video on the diocesan website (www.diopitt.org) tells the story of the creche and explains the work that goes into the project every year.
Efforts to sustain the creche are being explored on a corporate and grass-roots level. Those wishing to help can send contributions to: The Pittsburgh Creche, c/o The Pittsburgh Foundation, Five PPG Place, Suite 250, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222.
The Twentieth Century Club, 4201 Bigelow Blvd. in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood, will present a Celebration of the Creche on Wednesday, Dec. 12. The evening will include cocktails, a presentation by Father Lengwin and a discussion by architect Lou Astorino, who will describe how the creche was erected.
Following dinner, guests may tour the club and/or take Molly's Trolley to U.S. Steel Plaza to view the creche.
The cost is $45 for club members, $50 for non-members. For reservations, call 412-621-2353.
Pittsburgh Crèche Donation Information
Donations can be sent to:
Pittsburgh Crèche Fund
c/o The Pittsburgh Foundation
Five PPG Place, Suite 250
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Donations can also be made online by clicking here.
To view a series of videos on the construction of the Pittsburgh Crèche click here.
Items Available for Purchase to Support the Pittsburgh Crèche
The items below are available to anyone wishing to support the Pittsburgh Crèche. These items can be ordered by sending a check made payable to “Diocese of Pittsburgh” with Pittsburgh Crèche on the memo line. For the cards and ornaments, please be sure to indicate which design is desired. For any questions, please call 412-456-3065. Prices include shipping and handling. Checks can be mailed to:
Diocese of Pittsburgh
Mission Office – Pittsburgh Crèche
111 Boulevard of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Boxed Christmas Cards - $20 for 15 cards – Design by Susan Castriota
Boxed Christmas Cards - $20 for 24 cards – Photo Image
Gift Boxed Ceramic Pittsburgh Crèche Christmas Tree Ornament - $15
Gift Boxed Pittsburgh Creche Christmas Tree Ornament - $15
Christmas Book (160 pages) – Published by Diocese of Pittsburgh for Jubilee 2000 with introduction by Bishop (now Cardinal) Donald Wuerl - $10.00