The Cribs of the World 2018

Good Shepherd Museum in Angers:
Christmas 2018

“LIFE is a TREASURE entrusted to us” was the theme for this year in reference to the encyclical “LAUDATO SI” in the year 2015 by Pope Francis.  The visitors were invited to view a YouTube on the environment, from Caritas Canada: Development and Peace after visiting the cribs.

How to protect Life which is a treasure for which we are all responsible for the coming generations?

How to protect “Our common Home against the pollution of air, water and the earth;   and to be a counter current to a “throw-away culture”? Can we change our way of life?

An activity was planned for the school children: they were invited to write on a leaf of a stylised tree a simple symbolic gest that they could do each day to protect the environment.

In November 2018 we had two university students in training and they helped us set up the cribs in the ground floor of the Museum in a very artistic way with a variety of colourful fabrics. We had about sixty cribs sent to us from the communities of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd present in 72 countries since the first foundation in France in Caen in 1641 and in Angers in 1829.

Responding to the needs of the Church and of the society, the Sisters of O.L.C. of the Good Shepherd were sent on mission first in Europe: Italy, Belgium, England, Germany, Ireland, Austria, Holland, Switzerland and then to the five continents. To Africa since 1843: Algeria, Egypt; North America: leaving from the Havre for the Unites States, Louisville in 1842, Montreal in 1824; Chili in South America in 1863, Bangalore(India)in Asia in 1854 and in Melbourne in Australia in 1863. Cribs coming from the recent foundations dating from the end of the 19th up to the 21st centuries were also represented.

Thanks to the publicity given in the local newspapers, in the Television and to the flyers distributed to the Parishes, schools, and care homes, the exposition which was opened from the 1st of December to the 13th of January attracted a total of 1896 visitors: families, children with their parents, nearly 500 children from the schools in Angers and many others who did not know the Mother House of the Good Shepherd. This exhibition awakened a great interest and for many a sense of wonder to contemplate the Infant Jesus in the crib, so weak and poor representing the face of a child of Europe, of Africa, of North and South America, of Asia…Thus revealing the Mystery of Christmas: Life is a treasure that is confided to all of us. “It is the centre of all the cribs of the world, the centre of humanity” commented one family that came to visit.

Thanks to modern technology the message reached others even at a distance from the Museum:

  1. An invalid person expressed her gratitude because she was able to “visit” the exhibition thanks to the Television program.
  2. Some communities of the OLC of the Good Shepherd from different corners of the world reacted to the photos of the cribs which the Sisters of the International community sent to them by “WhatsApp.”


What can we do?

At this time the NGO s concerned about the indifference of some States are writing a petition on line and are collecting millions of signatures.

How can we be indifferent to the climatic warming and its dramatic consequences?  The concentration of greenhouse gases, of the carbon tax, the growing gap between the rich and the poor, the manifestation of the yellow vests (Gilets Jaunes) occupying the roundabouts so as to make their voices heard in France and beyond …..

How can we enter into a new culture of dialogue. Pope Francis ends his encyclical Laudato Si with this prayer:

“   The poor and the earth are crying out. O Lord, seize us with your power and light,

help us to protect all life, to prepare for a better future, for the coming of your Kingdom

of justice, peace, love and beauty. Praise be to you!