Newborn baby found in nativity scene manger at Queens church

A newborn baby, found in the manger of the nativity scene in front of Holy Child Jesus Church in Queens, New York, is shown on the church's Facebook page.
A newborn baby, found in the manger of the nativity scene in front of Holy Child Jesus Church in Queens, New York, is shown on the church's Facebook page.

A newborn baby, found in the manger of the nativity scene in front of Holy Child Jesus Church in Queens, New York, is shown on the church’s Facebook page.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A newborn with his umbilical cord still attached was found lying in a manger at a New York church, police said on Tuesday.

At Holy Child Jesus Church in the borough of Queens on Monday, the custodian found the crying infant wrapped in towels in the indoor nativity scene he had set up just before his lunch break, a New York police spokesman said.

Father Christopher Ryan Heanue, one of the priests at the church, said he and others placed a clean towel around the baby while waiting for paramedics to show up.

“The beautiful thing is that this woman found in this church – which is supposed to be a home for those in need – this home for her child,” Heanue said, referring to the person he assumes left thebaby there.

“A young couple in our parish would love to adopt this child and keep this gift in our community. It would make a great Christmas miracle,” Heanue said.

Paramedics took the healthy baby to Jamaica Hospital and police are investigating the incident, the police spokesman said.

Under New York state law, a parent may abandon a newborn anonymously at certain designated safe haven locations, as long as the baby is handed over to an appropriate person.


Church pastor Christopher Heanue wrote on the church’s Facebook page that the baby was a boy and weighed a little more than 5 pounds.

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  • It is so sad, but still a miracle that this poor Mom, recognizing the symbolic birth of Christ (which of course, did not happen in Dec) but leaving the child in the manger she knew it would soon be discovered and her baby would be well taken care of, rather that leaving the baby in a shopping bag by a bus stop which happened years ago in Vancouver. She choose a very safe place. My heart goes out to the young mother and the prospective adoptive parents

  • Where is the father of this baby? I wonder if the New York State law is too simple in that it does not allow the father to claim a child. If the father does not even know, this may not be an important question.

  • If there was a father around, more likely than not the baby would not have been abandoned in the first place.

  • Simplistic maybe, but its also largely accurate and eminently more plausible than what was suggested.

    The action speaks for itself. If there was a father around willing to care for the child, the father would have possession of the child. No father has come forward looking for his missing newborn.

  • The law of chastity states that sexual relations are to occur only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully married to each other.

    Had the parents of this child obeyed that law, I daresay the baby would not have been abandoned, because it probably would not have come into existence.

  • That actually isn’t a law, Clifton. And readily available birth control has been shown to be a better path to preventing unwanted pregnancies.

  • Yes this actually is a law of our Heavenly Father, for which each of us will be held accountable. It is the extension of the 10 Commandments. Too many people ignore it and reap the concequences of their actions, hence the epidemic of illigetimate children, abortion and sexual diseases not to even mention the heartache and diminished self worth.
    Hopefully this mother will find her way to a church as well. I am just thankful she chose to give birth and give her baby away rather than take it’s life through abortion

  • I would love to have a sweet little baby for Christmas! I have 3 sweet children and would love to find a miracle on my doorstep without all the work! 😉 I wonder if I put a nativity up would I get a cute baby?!? That is easier than giving birth and going through adoption! Hello people! I think we are onto something here! If you want more children without the paperwork, pregnancy and birth put up a Manger in your front yard! I love it! Hope the best for the sweet baby and for mother. 😉

  • You know this is a miracle. Why is it that people have to sit in judgement of any kind. Just be happy that this story has a happy ending. The end.

  • Nothing miraculous about it. It was an act of desperation, probably with easily explained circumstances behind it.

    If that’s a miracle, so is a flat tire on your car…

  • And this is why fundamentalist Christian belief is inherently ridiculous and pernicious. S1utshaming at its most obvious. Emphasis on purity and chastity creates an unhealthy climate of fear concerning sexual relations. An excuse to wag fingers and do nothing to help people or society in general.

    NO society, religious or otherwise ever took such rules seriously, nor will they ever. Even supposedly “pious” communities ignore these rules with impunity (they just avoid being honest about it). Clifton and Pam, your views are useless, pointless and harmful. The sole purpose is to feel superior to others and enforce a view which is entirely untennable. Phony self-aggrandizing indignation.

  • heart tells me you are looking for a reason to believe. Just open your heart and think deeply and with sincere love. Your answer will come. If not today then maybe tomorrow, but it will come. May God bless you with your needs

  • Pam, the 10 commandments are not valid laws, and to a large degree are about sucking up to a vain and needy deity -a deity who, if real, wouldn’t need any of that.

    LuAnn, in working reality that is false, because chastity is not practically enforceable in the modern world, something your “god” apparently never saw when he “created” our procreation drive.