Nativity exhibit at Benedictine a shining star this holiday season

December 10, 2014

Lisle, Illinois ~ As the Christmas season approaches, creches, or scenes depicting the birth of Jesus Christ, become a popular sight in homes, churches, schools and public places across the globe.

The three-dimensional artform is hundreds of years old and one of the most traditional displays of the holiday. But the detail, medium and artistic creativity involved in their creation varies widely by region and culture.

Running through Saturday, January 10, Marmion Academy and Benedictine University will host the joint exhibition, “Creches,” displaying more than 300 handcrafted versions of nativity scenes donated by Marmion supporters Ray and Leah Theisen.

A large portion of the collection, which represents creches from many different parts of the world, will be displayed at the Fr. Michael E. Komechak, O.S.B., Art Gallery on the fifth floor of Kindlon Hall. The other half of the collection will be displayed in Dr. Scholl’s Exhibit Mezzanine at Marmion Academy, located at 1000 Butterfield Road in Aurora.

The collection offers viewers both an artistic and multicultural perspective on the birth of Jesus, according to Teresa Parker, curator of the University Art Collection.

“This display meshes religion with art and should be of interest for those who are looking for something different in terms of a holiday activity,” Parker said. “It is also noteworthy because it allows the community to view a private and never-before-seen collection.”

The gallery’s hours are from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday, and by appointment. Please note that the gallery will be closed Thursday, December 11; Monday-Friday, December 22-26; Wednesday, December 31 and Thursday, January 1. For more information, contact Cathaleen Gaddis at (630) 829-6320 or visit


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has a branch campus in Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls more than 5,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the eighth consecutive year in 2018. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

Marketing and Communications

Trente Arens
Director of Enrollment Marketing
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Jody Conidi
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