I Can’t Put It Away

Jesus the Refugee
December 18, 2015
Welcome 2016!
January 1, 2016

By Sister Nancy Linenkugel, OSF

Anyone who knows me isn’t surprised that I don’t have tchotchke things around.  I’ve never been a collector of anything.  Yes, I own a ton of music but not much else.  Not even books; I have a handful of favorites and that’s it.

However, what you do see on display is several Christmas cards with the Greccio scene.  And I mean on display year round, not just for Christmas.

To me, it’s a marvelous thing that our very own St. Francis of Assisi “invented” the manger scene.  As he strove to be just like Christ, when it came to the Incarnation, Francis simply wanted everyone to experience what the Gospel stories were conveying about the story of Christ’s birth.

This is why deacon Francis assembled animals and townspeople to dramatize the Christmas story.  The baby was a doll figurine and legend has it that when Francis held up the doll to heaven, the doll briefly came to life and smiled at Francis.

Many persons, including Franciscans, are very taken with this simple illustrative method of Francis from 1223, just three years before he died.  Because of that, manger scenes have abounded the world over for the past 700 years.  It might be a life-size outdoor manager scene, it might be a very expensive hand-carved ornate indoor scene, or it might be a small plastic version inside an ornament.  Manger scenes are everywhere.

So I keep on display year ‘round favorite Christmas cards depicting St. Francis and the crèche.  Could you put them away?

Sister Nancy Linenkugel

Franciscan in the Marketplace

Sister Nancy Linenkugel has served in healthcare administration, education and leadership for the Sylvania Franciscans.  From 2011-2020 Sister Nancy served as the chair of the department of health services administration and director of the graduate program in health services administration at Xavier University in Cincinnati, and was the first program alumna to serve in that position.  She has served on the Sylvania Franciscan Leadership Team, was president of Chatfield College in Cincinnati, president and CEO of the Providence Health System and Providence Hospital in Sandusky, Ohio, and vice president of St. John Medical Center in Steubenville, Ohio.  She is a life fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and has served on its national board.  Sister Nancy was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame in 1999.  She is an accomplished cello player and a member of the Washington D.C.-based Medical Musical Group, made up of doctors, nurses and medical professionals from around the country, and also recently completed service as president of the Cincinnati Metropolitan Orchestra.  She is a Toledo, Ohio native and a liturgical musician.

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