Philadelphia erects Christmas crèche in Center City

Mark Abrams
December 19, 2018 - 11:03 pm
Fr. Dennis Gill, rector of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on the Parkway, performs a ritual sprinkling of water and a blessing/dedication of Philadelphia's Christmas Creche at the corner of 18th and Race streets.

Mark Abrams/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- A nativity display that's been part of the Philadelphia holiday landscape for many years was re-dedicated at the corner of 18th and Race streets. 

This is the third year the crèche has taken up residence outside the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on the Parkway.

Fr. Dennis Gill, cathedral pastor, performed a ritual sprinkling of water and offered a special dedication blessing for the nativity scene.

"The crossroad of 18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway," Gill says. "It is one end of the parkway so many, many cars pass by here."

READ: Police find Holy Family thief, and South Philly nativity scene restored

Gill says the scene captures the true meaning of Christmas.

"For this living sign, if you will, this manger scene outside it's an indication of what we're all about," Gill says.

He adds, it also fulfills an important mission for the church. 

"One of the principal works of course, of the church, is to announce the Gospel," Gill said. "And, at this time of year, to announce the Gospel of Christmas the birth of Jesus - God becoming man."

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