For an early Christmas story that is both heartbreaking and miraculous, we turn to Richmond Hill, Queens, where a newborn baby was found inside a church nativity scene, in the spot meant for baby Jesus. Jose Moran, caretaker of the appropriately named Holy Child Jesus Church, set up the empty manger on Monday morning, and when he returned from lunch he heard an infant crying. He told the Daily News that at first he thought someone brought their baby into the church, and went back to sweeping. “I looked around and didn’t see anyone,” he said. “That got me curious. I followed the cries. I walked to the little nativity home we had installed inside the church … I couldn’t believe my eyes. The baby was wrapped in towels. He still had his umbilical cord. He was next to the Virgin (Mary).”
Moran and Father Christopher Ryan Heanue called 911, and the baby boy was examined at Jamaica Hospital. He was given a clean bill of health, weighing in at five pounds, six ounces, and doctors estimated that he had been born about four or five hours earlier. The New York Times reports that while the state’s safe-haven laws allow parents to abandon unwanted infants in safe places like hospitals, police stations, or churches, the mother could still be charged for failing to tell anyone where she left the baby.
Father Heanue said he found the story inspirational. “God works in mysterious ways,” he said. “(The child’s mother) must have been in a difficult place in her life. She found in this crèche … this empty place where Jesus will be in a few weeks … as a home for her son.” He told the Post that several families have already expressed interest in adopting him. “They feel that he was left in the parish and should stay in the parish,” he said.