Diocesan News

Only in Print: Nativity in Dyker Heights Shows True Meaning of Christmas | December 14, 2019

Outside of his Dyker Heights home, John Miniero displays a 14-foot long nativity scene (called a presepio in Italian), complete with six waterfalls and hundreds of collected figurines alongside the Holy Family, and paying homage to his homeland. (Photos: Allyson Escobar)

DYKER HEIGHTS — John Miniero, a retired baker who proudly displays a homemade nativity scene outside his home in Dyker Heights, knows what Christmas should really be about: the birth of Jesus.

Miniero has a 14-foot-long, 4-foot-high “presepio,” an Italian word for the nativity scene, in a conspicuous place. It has twinkling lights, dazzling Italian countryside backdrops and the Holy Family highlighted in the center.

“That’s the focus,” Miniero, 75, said, pointing at the baby Jesus lying in his manger.

Miniero’s nativity reflects the message of Pope Francis’ document for this Advent, urging Christians to keep a longstanding tradition of displaying public nativity scenes and sharing the story of the birth of Christ with the world…

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