What Happened to 6 Immigrant Holy Families in the US

The horrors of Child Separation dominated the news of 2019. In a photography project employing creches from around the world, The Modern-Day Church Lady speculates what would happen to the Holy Family if they crossed the border into the US today. 

The Back Story

My “Subversive Creche” project was inspired by the Incarcerated Holy Family Display that Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis placed on their front lawn in July 2018 (click here for Fox News article on their effort). While the biblical rational for the display was widely debated, the moral imperative was obvious to its church members. Stephen Carlsen, the dean of Christ Church Cathedral explained, “Our tradition, our sacred traditions, are crystal clear. People who come to us for safety, for refuge are just like everyone in our families.”

Earlier this year, a few of us Morrow Church members teed up a similar display for our Church lawn but didn’t get enough votes at Church Council to proceed. Our members come from various Christian traditions so I understood how the display might be offensive to some. We debated ways to make the idea more broadly palatable, one of which was to “take pictures.” And with those words, my “Subversive Creche,” project was born, updated to reflect the new horror of family separation at our southern border.


A creche from my travels to Guatemala
His family weeps as Guatemalan Baby Jesus is Held in Detention



A Mongolian Holy Family
An angel watches over Mongolian Baby Jesus in detention



An Italian Holy Family provided by my fellow Church Lady Joyce
The Italian Holy Family in Detention



A Holy Family From Bangkok
Mary and Joseph look on at their Baby Jesus in Detention


El Salvador

A Cornhusk creche from El Salvador
An angel watches over a Guatemalan Baby Jesus, separated from his family


An Angel and a Lamb adore Baby Jesus
A Lamb Looks on at Baby Jesus in Detention
Baby Jesus in a Crowded Detention Cage

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