Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan H.S. in Riverhead hosts Christmas nativity
Among the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, one school in Riverhead reflects on the true meaning of Christmas with a 1,000-square-foot nativity scene.
For the past 20 years, Father Jerry Cestare has helped the students at Bishop-McGann Mercy Diocesan High School set up the Christmas Presepio, which in Italian means crib. It takes the students almost two months to set up the 6,000 figurines at the back end of the school's stage.
Cestare says many of the figurines are hand-carved, and many are over 100 years old. He says he started the tradition so that people can remember the true meaning of Christmas. "We take real pride in seeing people take a moment to reflect on what it's all about," says Cestare.
The presepio is open to the public and free of charge from the beginning of December through early January, the Epiphany.