Skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

San Diego Home To One Of The Largest Nativity Collections

Audio

One of the country's largest nativity collections is on display in San Diego. The collection boasts more than 700 scenes.

— One of the country's largest nativity collections is on display in San Diego. The collection boasts more than 700 scenes.

The nativity collection belongs to San Diego's Father Joe Carroll of the non-profit group Father Joe's Villages. He started the collection 35 years ago after purchasing his first nativity scene as a young priest. Since then he's amassed almost every interpretation of the nativity scene from around the world. They include miniature versions to life-sized replicas.

Some displays use animals instead of people -- including bears, cats and chickens.

Carroll says some might find different interpretations of the nativity scene offensive. But he says they all represent the spirit of Christmas.

“Each one has a different cultural meaning,” Carroll said. “(God) came for the whole world. Animals and people. All that is part of the Christmas message.”

The nativity characters are made with everything from ceramic to corn husks. Some are even carved out of coconuts and walnuts. The collection is on display until next month at Father Joe’s Villages main office in Golden Hill.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.