December 15, 2021
Students pose with camel

Delilah the Camel was a hit when she made an appearance on campus Dec. 12 for Greccio, a living nativity organized by Campus Ministry for students and families from the Brookland community. 

This tradition started seven years ago as a way to make present the true meaning of Christmas and to remind students that this time of year is not only about finals.

Fr. Jude DeAngelo, OFM Conv., noted that the turnout this year was the largest ever. The evening included time to get selfies with Delilah, to pet the sheep, goat, and other animals, and then to join as a community to reflect on the Christmas story with music, narration, and acting from University students.

The tradition of living nativities and placing creches in our homes and churches is credited to St. Francis of Assisi. On Christmas Eve in 1223, he created a living nativity in Greccio to make the birth of Christ real in a tangible way.

Greccio came just two days after a campus-wide head-to-head competition for decorating Christmas trees, sponsored by the Student Philanthropy Council. The Class of 2025 won a Finals Week study break, with food trucks, for the entire class after recruiting the most students to decorate ornaments.