McGrath Institute offers digital crèche calendar for Advent and Christmas seasons

By Anna Bradley

2020 Digital Crèche Calendar2020 Digital Crèche Calendar

Notre Dame, IN — For the past six years, the McGrath Institute for Church Life’s annual crèche exhibit and pilgrimage has gathered members of the community to campus to pray in procession and prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ during the Advent season. This year, due to restrictions put in place by the coronavirus pandemic, the McGrath Institute invites reflection on Nativity scenes from around the world in a digital Advent and Christmas Crèche Calendar. 

Beginning on the first Sunday of Advent, November 29th, and continuing through January 10th, 2021, subscribers will receive a daily email that features an image and description of a crèche from a different part of the world, along with a brief prayer for further reflection. Each featured crèche was lent to the McGrath Institute by the Marian Library of Dayton, Ohio for one of the previous six exhibits.

“By featuring displays from Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe, as well as North, South, and Central America, this year’s digital crèche calendar serves as a powerful reminder that the Incarnation of Jesus Christ has forever changed the entire world and the course of human history,” said Carolyn Pirtle, program director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy at the McGrath Institute and the organizer of the annual crèche exhibit. “The breadth of artistic media used in these Nativity sets—wood, metal, clay, even natural fibers—testifies to the mystery that all of creation is made new in Christ.”

The holy seasons of Advent and Christmas provide a much-needed opportunity to renew our faith and our hope in God, who “so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:16). Advent is a season when Christians throughout the world anticipate the coming of Christ, the light of the world. Christmas is a time to contemplate the mystery of the Word made flesh. In doing so, we are reminded that Jesus Christ is Emmanuel, God-with-us, and that he is with us still. 

To learn more about this year’s offering and sign up to receive our daily reflection emails, visit

Contact: Amy North, Program Director of Communications, 574-631-2894,