By Beth Germano

DEDHAM (CBS) – It’s an unconventional take on the nativity scene at St. Susanna’s Parish Dedham. The baby Jesus is in a cage, the wise men are closed off by a wall.

For the parish, the crèche is meant to be thought provoking. “We try to take a picture of the world as it is and put it together with a Christmas message,” said Pastor Fr. Stephen Josoma.

Saint Susanna’s Parish in Dedham has an immigration-themed nativity scene. (WBZ-TV)

That message this year questions “peace on earth”, since Jesus represents migrant children being held at the southern border separated from their parents.

The wise men are the caravan of migrants behind the border wall. They believe it’s very much the message of Jesus. “Jesus was about taking care of one another. This is not the way to take care of one another,” said Fr. Josoma.

“We’re not trying to scandalize anyone,” said parishioner Pat Ferrone, a member of the Pax Christi committee which came up with the idea for the display. “We’re trying to reflect back a reality that has to be looked at.”

The nativity scene in Dedham has a baby Jesus in a cage, calling attention to immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border. (WBZ-TV)

But mixing politics with religion isn’t sitting well with some who believe the nativity scene has crossed a line. “This is where you come to pray not to be preached at what you should think about politics,” said Helen Watson who drove to church to see the display.

Fr. Josoma insists the scene is not a dig at Trump administration policies. Instead of political activism he calls it gospel activism. “We talk about Matthew 25 feeding the hungry and welcoming the stranger.”

A 2017 nativity scene at a Dedham church called attention to deadly mass shootings. (WBZ-TV)

Parishioner Phil Mandeville says Jesus was no stranger to politics. “Christ was political, he was hung on a cross for making political statements and bucking authority and that’s exactly why he died,” Mandeville said.

The nativity scene is meant to be a symbol of hope, and at St. Susanna’s the hope is that a conversation has begun.

Beth Germano

Comments (139)
  1. Philip Yenovkian says:

    Stupid liberals.

    1. Michael Justice Excalibur Frazier says:

      The stupid liberals dont realize that Jesus wasnt an immigrant. Rome said to all, return to the city of your birth to be counted and taxed. What dont these soulless morons get about that?? Oh wait, they dont read, just swallow.

      1. Plus, the “migrant” magi were wealthy, brought gifts, and then WENT HOME! Parallel? Not even close.

      2. ecoquant says:

        Um, Romans were enemies of occupied Jews, as Rome would demonstrate 80 years later annihilating Jerusalem, with armed assaults against Romans by Jews in the interim, and crucifixion was reserved for political crimes, rebellion against Rome. If anything, the story of being relegated to a barn shed, because they were late and poor as well as things being overcrowded, ought to be a lesson. It is simply the same as the essence of Torah’s value (“… the widow and the orphan and the stranger in your midst …”), and that of Lazarus’ poem at the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,/The wretched refuse of your teeming shore./Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,/I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

        Or have you forgotten John F Kennedy’s 1958 book?

    2. Spence Lee says:

      What so ever you do to the least of my brothers so you do unto me.

  2. Laura Rosenberger says:

    This church should have its 501C3 status revoked for making a political statement.

    1. ecoquant says:

      In fact, the Constitution of the Commonwealth gives pastors and religious leaders special priority, responsibility, and rights to lead on both social and religious issues. This was raised successfully in defense of, for example, Minister Theodore Parker who, in defiance of a federal law, successfully argued from his pulpit that men sent to the Commonwealth to seize who were considered runaway slaves should be outed, and opposed at every turn. He was arrested and acquitted on this basis.

      I think it hypocritical that someone who considers themselves religious should put a Deity and their values in a hatbox on the shelf during the week, and only take it down for Sunday services. If religion doesn’t infuse an entire life, what good is it? If it doesn’t make you uncomfortable at times, why should it help you during your death? If it doesn’t inform everything, isn’t it a self-indulgent exercise in personal piety and purity, something like eating comfort food?

  3. Charlotte Allen says:

    Why nobody goes to Mass in Massachusetts anymore.

  4. Vincent Ardizzone says:

    Is NOTHING sacred with these liberal ideologues?

    1. Paul says:

      You know the answer is NO! Also we know what church not to attend. Do not go to the Dedham church. No collections, no church.

  5. Gosh, that’s one “church” I won’t be attending. Merry Christmas all. Jesus IS the reason for the season!

  6. Jennifer Anzalone says:

    Lucifer is Jesus. However, they are trying to fool you into thinking that the cage is there to keep the goods safe. NO. There is another meaning. Big FYI: lucifer is Jesus and vice versa. He plays the Janus. Wakey Wakey.. God threw/ dumped his ass here on this 3D plane and he has you all wrapped around his lizard pinky. You better keep your guns because he has all sorts of stuff on the planet that IS NOT human. chow. I am not hiding. I am real. The real resistance is for humanity to get back on track and get rid of the AI system that can read your thoughts and take away your sleeping consciousness.

    1. Jerry Walton says:

      You really should stop with those drugs. They have addled what little brain you have left.

    2. You back on those “funny” cigarettes again?

    3. John Akridge says:

      Jennifer, if you want to know the truth, please I beg you, pray to Jesus and ask him with a sincere heart to show you the truth. I promise you will not be deceived And you will know it is real. The key is a sincere heart, you have to truly want to know the Truth. If you do this you will understand your comment is born from the deceit of Satan and not God. God bless you Jennifer.

  7. Are they planning the ‘Priests Molesting Children’ display for January?

  8. The Holy Family never broke laws, immigration or otherwise. They were following the law which led to Jesus being barn in a barn.

  9. rho1953 says:

    Can’t have an open border. Period. There would be an influx of a hundred million people in a couple of years, all dependent on the taxpayer.

  10. Tom Tomson says:

    the religious Left…it’s the perfect storm of unthinking…

  11. Liberals pretty much ruin everything they touch, don’t they? See also: toilets, light bulbs, the NFL, the ACLU, Columbus Day, most Protestant denominations, the Democratic Party…

  12. Jack Inmanz says:

    It’s in a cage so no “immigrant” will steal it.

  13. Herb Snyder says:

    The baby Jesus didnt come into the world with his hand out expecting freebees from the gringos

  14. And I suppose they think we should just open the floodgates and let anyone into this country who wants to come. If the so called “Asylum Seekers” were actually seeking asylum they would have accepted Mexico’s offer for asylum. They only want the FREE STUFF that dems keep giving them in this country.

    Shame on this church, they should stay out of politics, but if they insist, how about addressing the molesting of children in this country and worldwide by catholic priests?

  15. Bobby Sargent says:

    Thank You Baby Jesus for this bountiful feast of KFC and Taco Bell.

  16. Big Mama says:

    There needs to be some form of punishment for these constant lies to pollute our youths’s all part of plan hatched long ago..

  17. Big Mama says:

    Oh and its one of those Commie atheist “Churches”

  18. Awhile back, the church was well led, albeit there were strays that brought scandal and shame on it (just the same as when pedophile politicians bring shame occasionally to political parties and pedophile entertainment folks bring shame on Hollywood). Some might say that Satan is behind the church’s downfall. It’s not that complicated. When one hears the college of cardinals speak with one voice, one realizes that there is a good deal of idiocy there. And, they elected guess who to lead the Catholic church? Yes, that’s right, an ignorant peasant from Argentina. But politically, the west is now well led. Let’s support President Trump wholeheartedly. That’s our best chance for seeing things fall back into place. Do that and eventually the Tom Styers and George soros’ will fall by the wayside and also, the next pope elected could well be more like Popes of the church’s past glory years like the 1950’s and 60’s. We need religion folks. It helps lost souls and helps to maintain civil order.

  19. Can’t stand liberals. Just cant’ stand them. So ignorant and clueless. They never seem to get better.

  20. tony409 says:

    72% of Immigrant Households in CA on Welfare…

  21. Doug Day says:

    JFK was a rapist and Ted was, too

  22. Bruce Pestell says:

    Did they put Jesus in a cage when the Obama administration was caging illegal kids apprehended at the border?

  23. Joe Waldron says:

    What would you expect from a church who gave a de facto “state funeral” to a womanizing senator who abandoned a young woman to die and who voted for every abortion funding bill that came before him. American bishops are stupid to think that all these Latinos are going to swell the ranks of a shrinking church. And the reason it is shrinking is because they’ve joined the political left. I adhere to the doctrine, but the Conference of Catholic Bishops can jump in the lake.

  24. Sean Ryan says:

    It’s all about money. They need more people filling the pews SOB types are catholic and pay tithe

  25. Just so you know, it was the Obama Administration that put the people in cages. In 2012. They just tried to blame it on Trump who had nothing to do it with it. He wasn’t even President when those pics were taken. Obama was. Why not be mad at him?

  26. Piper Rose says:

    At least the baby is safe from the MS13 “immigrants”.

  27. Robert Elmore says:

    At least he’s safe from being raped by a priest.

  28. People say there is a RACE problem. People say this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY and ONLY into White countries.

    People say the only solution to the RACE problem is if ALL and ONLY White countries “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-Whites.

    But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against White people, Anti-Whites agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White.

  29. Sanchez Arep says:

    The cage is so religious BIGOTS do not steal the Baby Jesus!

  30. Johnny Simpson says:

    The Church of the Immaculate Leftard. Or, Holy Moonbat Mother of God.

    Anything to distract from mass kiddie molestation, I guess.

  31. Liberal nutbags , that’s what they are.

    What strikes me funny as always is how Europeans, Americans and even the Vatican depicts Jesus as a blonde, blue eyed, white guy. News flash! Jesus was middle eastern and most lilikely resembles a person more like Osama Bin Laden. You know, dark skinned, long white beard and mustache and brown eyes.

  32. The church’s Pax Christi committee has come up with the 2018 version of putting a crusifix in a jar of urine

  33. Frank Joyce says:

    “The nativity scene at St. Susanna Parish is hoping to shine a light on the topic of immigration.”-from the article

    Then it must be said that the US takes in about 1,600.000 legal immigrants each year. Illegal immigration may be a small number compared to legal immigration but the issue is a security issue.

  34. Denise Pharmer says:


  35. Katherine McChesney says:


  36. Martin Hirschbein says:

    That photo of immigrant children in cages was taken during the OBAMA administration! The church had no problem with it then. Now that Trump has ended that practice this so-called church tries to pin a lie on Trump. Their tax-free status should be revoked.

  37. Stands to reason. Catholicism is a dieing cult their pews are empty. Most of these ” immigrants” are Catholic. It’s all about the Peso..

  38. Mike Houck says:

    When the radical priest came to get me released, we were all on the cover of Newsweek…..

  39. Suzanne Long says:

    Hypocrisy: If illegals break into the county, liberals want to shower them with gifts. If homeless people break into a liberals home, they will want them prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

  40. John Sandhofner says:

    Jesus said render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s. Jesus did not come to earth to establish a form of earthly government, but instruct us on how to live. He left us with many principles that we can use to guide how we structure our society including how we might form a government. But the government is not the church and definitely not so in this country. But the church does have a place in our lives and we had best understand how the separation of chuch and state was intended to work in this country. And it is not the liberal version of government largess doing what Jesus told his followers todo.

  41. bvikay says:

    Disgusting and insulting.

  42. Johnny Simpson says:

    Baby Jesus in a cage puts all Heaven in a rage.

    As does the mass molestation of God’s children and cover-up by his so-called rep on earth.

    Methinks someone’s priorities are somewhat screwed this Christmas season.

  43. Daryl E. Culler says:

    If Parishioner Phil Mandeville is an example of the people who attend, there is nothing of Jesus in that church. Jesus was not crucified for political activity, he was crucified to atone for the sins of the word. Even those of Parishioner Phil Mandeville.

  44. Joe Veritas says:

    Libs – always with the schtick

  45. Dave Fay says:

    Looks like they don’t want one of their Pedophile priests poking the baby Jesus in the bee hind.

  46. Caniac Steve Henderson says:

    If the leadership & elders of that congregation feel that strongly about how America now deals with illegal immigration…then a better way to protest or make a statement would be for each & every family or person physically sponsor & be 100 % respondsible physically & fiscally at least 1 family unit or 2 mliitary aged males in each congregation member home for a 3 year period… after all isnt that what Jesus would do but he also said …Render under to Caeser what is Caeser’s as far as obeying the law goes ?? Mark 12:17

  47. ddswaterloo says:

    Liberal Anti-White Suicidal Decadence in One Picture:

  48. Hey padre Josoma, don’t be a social justice warrior like your papa francis. First clean up your own church’s many scandals…….perverted pedophile priests.

  49. Mark Zarraonandia says:

    Question for Fr. Josoma, If this isn’t a dog at Trump….did you do this same scene during Obama? Because Obama did the exact same thing with separating kids and parents.

  50. And the church wonders why so many are leaving… I’d walk from that Church and never, ever return.

  51. Wouldn’t Jesus be considered an Anchor Baby?

  52. Enemyof Thehive says:

    To make it more relevant and less political, a Catholic priest should be shown hovering over the baby Jesus sexualy assaulting him in his crib.

  53. malewurmhole says:

    This isn’t liberalism, it’s capitalism through and through. People coming from Latin America are almost always Christian and generally devoutly so (with the exception of all those bad elements, which the Church does not care about). More Christians=higher attendance=more money.

  54. Catherine Robert says:

    Thank goodness they are reminding people of what Obozo did to illegals. Why don’t they tear gas & pepper spray it too, to make it the most authentic!

  55. Su Yu says:

    Thankfully,…Anti-Christian haters won’t be able to behead or steal the baby Jesus statue this Christmas,….Good Idea.

  56. Fred Bailey says:

    How absurd.
    Jesus was not an illegal immigrant.

  57. Russell Lamoreaux says:

    Massachusetts is proof that education does not always equal intelligence. It’s a state full of well educated morons!

  58. Michael Wolfe says:

    It’s not like the Catholic Church has enough problems then this priest comes along. Not to mention: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” Caesar manages the borders while God manages the spiritual health of the border crashers.

  59. I have a child molesting priest behind bars in my nativity scene, where is my article?

    It is just common sense to screen people for disease to avoid another plague, and to have actual borders and laws to protect your sovereignty. I guess the church needs the billions they receive to house/harbor illegals to survive.

  60. This church does not follow the gospel of Christ. Their manger imagery is an emotional appeal to the simple minded to join the political rage that has enveloped this country. This is a country of law and order and the current President is trying to restore that pledge stated by the Constitution of the United States made by the founders. The manger scene in Dedham, MA is inappropriate and misleading in their efforts to drag Christ into a one-sided political farce. Christ specifically stated, “If you come in by the back door or the side door, you are a thief and a liar.” (John 10:1) To support this unlawful invasion into this country is anathema to all that is holy. These invaders caught up into their demands should realize law and order instead of threatening violence by mockery. They should obey the law. The leaders of this church are doing a great injustice to the gospel. They have misrepresented it to a wide extent and presented an emotional nonsensical argument in favor of breaking the law of righteousness. They misrepresent and use Scripture for their own ends.

  61. Robert Gendron says:

    sickening leftist agenda has no bounds. none.

  62. ” the wise men are closed off by a wall.” Maybe that’s why they’re wise.

  63. I’m Jewish, and even I know that Joseph and Mary were NOT homeless or immigrants. They were FORCED by an overbearing government to travel to Jerusalem so they could be counted for taxation. Now, when will the left embrace and internalize the real story of Christmas?? Probably after the second coming.

  64. Deb Az says:

    Again, those who are ignorant of the Bible’s teachings, politicize God.

    Mary and Joseph journeyed for the census. Why? Because they lived in a nation with boundaries and had to be accountable.

    Most of the democrats trying to use this angle are, also, the same ones who ‘booed’ God and say Jesus’ story is a fairy tale.

  65. Thomas Lee says:

    Let’s see, Jesus was in Bethlehem because the government wanted to tax his parents. The tax/census migration caused so much overcrowding the Lord was born in a stable and laid in a manger. Yes, this church has learned the message of Christmas!

    1. ecoquant says:

      @Thomas Lee,

      Regarding the above, (a) “taxes” didn’t mean then what they mean now, and (b) there was no “want” about it: When Rome said to come, you came.

      On “(a)”, consider sumptuary laws from ancient Greece and Rome: These were taxes and obligations imposed upon those who benefited the most from the City or the state. They included payments, paying for open entertainments, and building and staffing ships under city or state control at their expense, and paying the salaries of the staffs in compensation for the earnings they would miss had they not had to go to war.

      On “(b)”, despite Rome’s long patience with its renegade province in Judea, lasting nearly a century, in the end, they needed to resort to annihilation.