Church hopes for peace in nativity scene with mass shooting death tolls

Posted at 7:09 AM, Dec 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-05 07:09:27-05

NORFOLK COUNTY, MA (WFXT/CNN) – A church in Massachusetts is using its nativity scene as a means of getting people talking and motivated about stopping mass shootings in the United States.

A list of the towns and death tolls of some of the country’s deadliest mass shootings in history is on display directly above the nativity scene at St. Susanna’s Parish in Dedham, MA.

"We were discussing the gun control issue and how it seems to be stagnated across the country,” Rev. Stephen Josoma said.

Josoma says he and a group of parishioners wanted to send a message to get people thinking after another year of mass shootings.

"This is not the picture of Christmas peace we want to have in people’s minds for years to come. It can't be this forever. It just has to change,” Josoma said.

The display went up at the beginning of December, and so far, it’s resonating with the parishioners.

"You can interpret it in different ways. It's just to draw people in. It really makes people think,” parishioner Pat Ferrone said.

Above the manger, a banner reads, “If only you knew the things that make for peace.”

The hope is that those who see it will realize peace on Earth starts with the decision to work for it.

"Reading each sign, it gives you sadness inside, and you hope that we don't have to add any more,” parishioner Lisa Mercuri said.

The people who put the display up say they are aware not everyone is going to like it, but they hope the public will keep an open mind.

"Look with an open mind and an open heart, and continue the conversation," Josoma said.

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