The Pittsburgh Creche: a tradition continues

The blessing of Pittsburgh Crèche is back in-person, and so are the visitors.

Bishop David Zubik was one of 10 members of the Christian Leaders Fellowship who led a prayer service at the crèche on Friday, Nov. 19.

Last year the blessing was held virtually due to the pandemic.

The Pittsburgh Crèche is the only authorized replica of the Nativity scene that Saint John Paul II commissioned for the Vatican. This is the 23rd year it’s been displayed in Pittsburgh, mostly at U.S. Steel Plaza.

“The crèche is so important because of the lesson that it teaches,” said Monsignor Ron Lengwin, who has shepherded the crèche project since the structure was built in 1999. “It teaches us how much God loves us, and that love is renewed every day for us.

“It’s still a mystery why God became man,” he said. “We know it was to save us from sin—that He was going to die for us, show us how we should live, and show us how important we are, how unique we are.”

Local labor unions volunteer their services in assembling the 30-ton structure, helping to train apprentice carpenters.

The crèche is an ecumenical effort by Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christians to preserve the true meaning of Christmas. It stands as a reminder of God’s great love for all his creation.

The Christian Leaders Fellowship includes the local heads of 10 Christian traditions: Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Presbytery, Salvation Army of Western PA, United Church of Christ Penn West Conference, and United Methodist Conference of Western PA.

Below: a 3D Model of the Pittsburgh Creche

3D Creche credit: Kisker Productions.