December 3, 2021 – West Bend, WI – More than a dozen volunteers stepped up this week to lend a hand with the annual setup of the Rolfs Nativity. This is the fourth year the historic piece will be displayed on Eighth Avenue in front of Holy Angels Parish.
The weather was unseasonably warm for December 1, 2021, as the life-size nativity was pulled out of storage and put on display as a holiday hallmark for West Bend.
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Originally brought to the community by brothers Tom and Bob Rolfs, the pieces, handmade in Germany, were originally placed in front of the tower of the Amity building on Main Street.
It was later relocated to the Amity Outlet on Highway 33 and then in 2007 it was displayed in front of Westbury Bank on the corner of Main and Walnut Street and eventually it spent a couple years on the triangle corner by Bits ‘n’ Pieces Floral. In 2017 the nativity found a home at Old Settlers’ Park in downtown West Bend where the baby Jesus figure was stolen.
Parishioner Terry Vrana got a hold of the remnants of the figure and carved a new head for the baby Jesus and reattached the hands. Over the summer, Vrana dedicated his time to “growing closer to God.”
In those hours since January 2019, Vrana patched, plastered, and painted each figure and brought it back to its original glory.
Mark Wolf remembered 2018, the first year the Holy Angels Parish hosted the Rolfs Nativity. Rev. Pat Heppe blessed the nativity with holy water.
Music in the video courtesy Aakash Gandhi.