By Tim Harfmann
A baby Jesus statue is back where it belongs tonight, in the manger, after it was taken away from Mary’s Nativity Church in Flushing.
“It was a Christmas miracle,” said Father Ed Kachurka.
He’s the church’s pastor and showed Currents News the surveillance video of the theft.
It captured an individual, believed to be a woman, running past the church Saturday night. She climbed up and crawled into the nativity scene, causing damage to the infant’s statue.
“They must’ve leaned on it or flopped on it and crushed the actual manger that’s underneath the Christ child,” said Kachurka.
About fifteen minutes later, the individual reappeared from the nativity scene holding the baby Jesus sculpture. The person jumped down from the display and walked around the church property.
At one point, the person walked past the nearby shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary, where worshipers often donate flowers and religious icons.
“There was a statue of Joseph there and in the course of the individual moving around on the property with the baby Jesus, the Joseph statue was moved and ended up being in front of the church and it was shattered,” said Kachurka.
She met another individual and the two left the destroyed statue of Saint Joseph at the church. They got into an SUV, driving away with the statue of baby Jesus.
The vehicle pulled up in front of the rectory hours later. An individual ran up to the shrine of the Blessed Mother, placed the baby Jesus sculpture at the base and left.
According to Father Kachurka, the NYPD identified the woman and she received medical help. He says the woman will not be arrested and the incident is not being investigated as a hate crime.
“I don’t think there’s any evil involved. There’s no mal-intent involved. I just hope and pray this person, whoever it is, will get all of the help they can get to live out a good, sound life,” Kachurka added.