Roesch Library showcases diverse Nativity scenes

The Christmas season is finally here and the University of Dayton’s Roesch Library once again presents its annual Marian Nativity display. It will remain on display through Sunday, Jan. 25.

The display consists of various types of artwork shown on the first, second and seventh floors of the library. This Nativity display is meant to show the Catholic meaning of the Christmas season, the birth of Christ.

From the state of California to countries like Fiji, France, Bulgaria, and Kyrgyzstan, it will showcase more than 200 uniquely created Nativities from around the world. These exclusive Nativities represent Christmas through many different eyes from across the globe.

“The purpose of the first floor display is to show the coming of Jesus Christ and to show the meaning and purpose of life,” library employee and art assistant Sister Jean M. Frisk said. The first floor display, called “And now the world,” presents various artwork narrating the story of Jesus’ birth through hand carved pictures and people surrounding the Nativity of Christ. Viewers should become more engaged as they go across the panel of different designs presented.

Michelle Devitt is responsible for assisting the Marian Library with the second floor Nativity sets. Children from different schools around the area completed for a Nativity scene and the winners have their Nativities on display throughout the entire second floor.

The seventh floor is composed of two main parts: the gallery and the museum.

“It is the story of love created by expressionist art,” Frisk said. The gallery consists of pictures representing the Nativity, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.

The second part is a museum presenting the French village of Provence, built in the early 1800s.

“The village is divided between Christians and communists and illustrates their journey in coming together to find their way to Christ,” Frisk said. In the center of the village, there is a Nativity scene where people are shown gathering and honoring Jesus. Frisk said the Nativity scene represents Jesus’ beginning and his future growth in the arms of his family. She said it glorifies and recognizes the holy family and the importance of the Nativity in the birth of Christ.

“Love is the basic reason for Jesus. Through God’s love, he gave us his divine son who comes to us as a baby and grows in our hearts,” Frisk said. She explained that the love shown in the displays is the reason for why we live. It is the ultimate eternal destiny. “God’s love is given to us through Jesus his divine son and through the Nativity, Jesus is forever with us.”

“Students can look at the baby in the manger and think of the message of love and what it has to do with their life,” she said. By seeing this Nativity, the UD community is enlightened about the purpose of the university and the significance of love for and with Jesus.

Exhibit hours vary; for information on exhibits, hours, directions and parking, visit http://udayton.edu/libraries/manger or call 937-229-4265. Guided group tours for six or more are available on request by calling 937-229-4214.

All campus exhibits are closed Dec. 24-28, Jan. 1-4 and Jan. 19. All events are free and open to the public.