There is at least one mean-spirited grinch up to no good in St. Joseph this pre-Christmas season. But there is hope, because the grinch or grinches apparently had a change of heart.
The figurines of Mary, Joseph and three sheep were stolen from the traditional nativity scene in front of St. Joseph Catholic Church. They were taken sometime Thursday, Dec. 5, according to the church’s pastor, the Rev. Jerome Tupa. On Thanksgiving Day, a figurine of a shepherd was also stolen, Tupa noted. And a shepherd, a cow and a donkey were noticed missing last Tuesday, Dec. 3, said Sandra Scholz, the church’s business manager.
The good news is that all of the figurines were returned earlier this week, placed where they had been taken. However, a cow figurine remains missing, according to a parish office person.
Fr. Mathias Spier, OSB, purchased the crèche when he was the assistant pastor in St. Joseph from 1986-96. The figures were stolen the first year they were put out and then were replaced with the current ones.
The value of the figurines is about $1,000, according to a report submitted to the St. Joseph Police Department.