December 10, 2019 – West Bend, WI – Four volunteers spent Friday morning lending a hand to a holiday tradition in West Bend. Days before the second Sunday in Advent the Amity Rolfs Nativity was placed in the manger outside the Parish Office at Holy Angels Church on Eighth Avenue.
The life-size nativity display is a holiday hallmark for West Bend. 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.
“The practice of erecting such mangers was a practice begun by Saint Francis of Assisi as a means to set forth the message of Christmas,” said Heppe. “When we look upon these figures, especially these historic figures, the Christmas Gospel comes alive and we are moved to rejoice in the mysteries in the incarnation of the Son of God.”