Nativity scene exhibition at the motherhouse

An Advent weekend to mark the 800-year history of the nativity scene in Greccio by St Francis of Assisi under the heading "God becomes man - in me too" brought creative minds to the Motherhouse in Vierzehnheiligen.

At that time, St Francis set up a feeding basket and live animals in a grotto and invited the people of Greccio's neighbourhood to celebrate the birth of Jesus - the incarnation of God - with all their senses and to be part of this living nativity scene themselves. Today we are familiar with a wide variety of nativity scenes painted, carved, potted, crocheted and made of paper in all cultures and on all continents.

The intention of the course led by Sr Katharina Horn FSV, Fr Maximilian Wagner OFM and Uta Fielitz was to create a very personal place in which God becomes man - a very personal nativity scene. Taking a closer look at our "own stable" and giving our hands the freedom to create - what we bring to the cot, where we are the cot - was both challenging and inspiring.

Using stone, wire, glass, wood, natural materials, paint and cardboard, fabric and fairy lights, an impressive variety of nativity scenes were created in the dining room, which had been converted into a workroom.

This special Advent weekend was rounded off with short impulses, participation in times of prayer and silence, singing and making music together, and lively and enjoyable meals together.

In addition to traditional depictions in large butternuts, I was particularly inspired by the nativity scenes made of mirror shards entitled "Through you I see myself", "Connected" made of stone and "Birth on the Mediterranean" on wood.

"So much freedom gave me the opportunity to go a step beyond my limits," said one participant.  Everyone was surprised and overwhelmed by how personal themes were dealt with and how diverse places of God's incarnation were depicted.

Each nativity scene was presented and viewed in detail by the participants - the background to the choice of title was explained and many questions were asked. What wonderful works were created! What a special way to organise Advent!

As part of a small nativity scene exhibition in the cloister, all the sisters in the motherhouse were able to view the works created "almost like in Bamberg on the nativity scene trail" I heard.


Author: Uta Fielitz2023-12-12

"If it does you good, then come!"


(St. Francis of Assisi)