The Pastor of a central Minnesota church is hoping figures stolen from a nativity scene are returned before Christmas

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ST. JOSEPH, Minn. - The pastor at church in central Minnesota says he's hoping for a miracle after Mary, Joseph and three sheep disappeared from the congregation's outdoor nativity display.

Church of St. Joseph Rev. Jerome Tupa says he hopes that whoever took the 3-foot-tall figures will have a change of heart and return them. Tupa says just a few barnyard animals remain in the display.

The pastor tells the St. Cloud Times the figures have more than a monetary value. They've been with the church for several decades. The parish still has the baby Jesus because it isn't place in the nativity scene until Christmas.

Tupa says a shepherd was stolen earlier, on Thanksgiving Day.