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Bishop Ricken statement on satanic tree display at National Railroad Museum’s Festival of Trees

GREEN BAY, Wis. (Nov. 28, 2023) – As shepherd of the over 250,000 Catholics and nearly 1.2 million souls in the Diocese of Green Bay, Bishop David L. Ricken expressed his dismay, discomfort and shock surrounding the news of The National Railroad Museum allowing a tree representing the Satanic Temple of Wisconsin to appear in their annual Festival of Trees.

“Allowing a traditional understanding of Christmas to be usurped and desecrated by an organization/cult is divisive during a time of the year that we come together in unity as a community. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.” said Bishop Ricken. “Displaying a Christmas tree with bright red lights, inverted crosses, pentagrams and other satanic symbolism, with a snake wrapped around the tree where our savior belongs, is not something families and children should be exposed to at any time, but most especially during this Christmas season. The tree is offensive and harms the unity and joy that the Christmas season brings.

Bishop Ricken will be writing a letter to the Board of Directors of The National Railroad Museum and invites all Christians and all people of good will to join him in writing a letter, sending an email or making a call expressing outrage over this offensive display.

With the season of Advent beginning on Sunday, Dec. 3, Bishop Ricken encourages all those living in northeastern Wisconsin to pray. Now is the time to exercise our right, and our duty as faith filled residents of this area to stand up for religious truth and discourage evil. This is a time to be alert and ready (Lk 21:34-36) countering evil forces that are at play throughout the world, and within our own backyard.

“As we prepare to welcome Christ, this Christmas, I invite all people of good will to pray for peace and harmony in our world and local community. Prayer works miracles.” said Bishop Ricken. “I welcome each of you and your families to pray with me the powerful Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. In Scripture we see that our Lord sends angels to assist and guide us on this journey to heaven and to overcome evil that confronts us.”

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Who we are: As friends and followers of Jesus, the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay is devoted to fostering households and communities of discipleship through the mission and ministry of the Catholic Church. We are missionary disciples striving to lead all people to the Kingdom of God. Established in 1868, the diocese is composed of 256,000 Catholics in 16 counties: Brown, Calumet, Door, Florence, Forest, Kewaunee, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago.

Contact: Justine Lodl, communications and marketing director, at 920-272-8213 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or Sarah Gietman, senior marketing coordinator, at 920-272-8209 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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