A New Jersey church found out that people can actually do the right thing – even if it takes decades.
When Our Lady of Grace Church in Hoboken received a suspicious package with no return address last week, they were understandably concerned.
The Rev. Alex Santora called police after the shipping company could only determine the package was sent from Crystal Springs, Fla., according to NJ.com.
The Hoboken Police Department and Emergency Service Unit officers inspected the package with a heat detection device.
Upon finding it safe, they opened the package to find…. baby Jesus. A statue, that is, complete with a note explaining that the figure belonged to the church and had been stolen nearly a century ago.
The note dated Jan. 2, 2018 explained that the sender’s grandfather had come to have the statue which was apparently stolen from the church’s outdoor nativity display.
“My mom told me that the baby Jesus had been stolen from the church nativity display from Our Lady of Grace when she was a young girl of about 12 years of age in the early 1930s,” the note read.
“It came into (my mother’s) father’s possession somehow, and I don’t know why he didn’t return it,” the Florida sender wrote. “Instead, he gave it to my mother after she was married and she too kept it until her passing when it came to me. Knowing the story, I felt it should be returned to the rightful owner and you will find it enclosed.”
Santora had not known about the existence of the statue or what had happened but is looking forward to adding it to this year’s nativity set.
“I think its encouraging to see that even after decades people do the right thing,” he said.