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Exhibition of Christmas cribs



The Marist Brothers at Château-Richer

06/02/2009: Canada

This year, two art lovers graciously accepted an invitation we had extended to them: to place on exhibit in Château-Richer a major part of their Christmas crib collections.

In the Salle Champagnat, Monsieur Gilles Lacombe of St-Augustin-de-Desmaures displayed his collection of 130 cribs which were placed in a very original setting. M. Lacombe made use of various objects coming, in fact, from the great outdoors: large mushrooms, cabbages of varying sizes and colors, water-worn roots, dried flowers, boughs, live plants, and so on. For his part, Monsieur Jean Carrier, a native of Lévis, set up his collection - the items selected from among his one hundred Christmas cribs - in three different places: display cases at the entrance to our residence, in the waiting room and in the main living room. One crib set made out of chocolate drew special attention, especially from the youngest of our visitors! A plastic covering provided the chocolate with only some protection, but very efficacious all the same.

The collection coming from the Marist side, however, offered only a few crib sets. The most notable was a large scene upon gold cloth, a gift that had been given to Brother Paul-André by the Oblate Fathers at Cap-de-la-Madeleine.

That visitors were less numerous than in the past, we will attribute to the weather which was not very suitable for making an excursion. All the same, those who were able to put up with the strong winds, the cold and the snow found themselves charmed by the displays, several telling us in the Visitors’ Book of their feelings of admiration.

I open up for your viewing a few of the twenty-five pages comprising the Visitors’ Book so that, along with us, you may read the comments written in French, Spanish, English and . . . Arabic.

Gilles Lacombe composed the first words of the Visitors’ Book, introducing us to his display with a certain eloquence. Here is an extract from his invitation:
I invite you to look at the Nativity with a new vision. All the objects which one
might take for granted - wood along the shore, stones, vegetation - have
inspired us. . . . The peace of Christmas is what I wish for you every day of your
life! Gilles Lacombe

o My sincere congratulations on this splendid display that provides us with a moment of peace, helping us ponder the coming of Jesus among us. Madone Poulin
o A delight to the eyes, the heart, to the spirit of hope. Eva D.
o I congratulate you on the display. I was able to stand in amazement before one crib after another. What creativity! Keep up your wonderful work collecting the Christmas cribs. Jean Carrier, Lévis
o Great ingenuity in working with nature as it presents itself to us! Gaston Duchesne, SM.
o Congratulations to Monsieur Lacombe for the patience and the originality which mark his work. Father Marcel Latulippe, Canon
o A very original display and a rich one, quite different to what we are accustomed to see. The explanations offered by Brother Lavoie are really interesting and filled with positive sentiments. J.M. Paradis
o Much originality in the crib sets: really good work, and displayed with care and imagination. They gained the full attention of all who saw them. The André Guay family from St-Emile
o Your collection of crèches is exceptional. You have real talent. Linda
o I do not find words to describe how impressive are all the things which the Marist Brothers are doing! Keep up your good work which is an object of admiration for all! Daniel Carpentier
o It’s an excellent wine, Gilles, and, if possible, it is getting better with the passing of the years . . Your work deserves to be seen by as many viewers as possible. As soon as it can be organized, a tour around the Province of Quebec (while waiting for Jerusalem or Bethlehem). G. Boivin

Our sincere thanks to Monsieur Lacombe and Monsieur Carrier who made their Christmas crib collections available to us this year. By doing so, they allowed us to offer the visitors the pleasure of examining many new crib sets: an original and striking note that interested the visitors very much.

Brother Laurent Potvin, fm

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