Dr. Catherine J. Carroll and her Nativity Collection


Dr. Catherine Carroll

Dr. Catherine J. Carroll started a private pediatric practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1957. When she retired there in 1992, she had cared for three generations of patients with dedication.

She was born in St. Louis and was one of the first women to receive a medical degree from St. Louis University. She attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to do her pediatric residency. Over the years, she served her community in many ways. From 1972 to 1973 she was the head of pediatrics at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. She was an advisor to the Ann Arbor School Board, a charter member of Community Action on Substance Abuse, and a member of the Washtenaw Council on Alcoholism. Dr. Carroll never married but made her patients her life, serving them with care and compassion. She was especially gifted in working with children with special needs. In 1996 she was honored by the Washtenaw County Medical Society with a Community Service Award.

Catherine Carroll, a Catholic, also loved Christmas creches (nativities). She had an interesting and varied collection, many gathered over the years in her travels. Some of them she displayed year round in her home.

Dr Carroll died of lung cancer in October of 1997. At that time she bequeathed most of her nativity collection to our Creche Exhibit. She was eager for them to be seen and enjoyed after she was gone. We are extremely grateful for her very generous gift.


The two creches shown below are among more than 100 donated to our Creche Exhibit by Dr. Catherine Carroll.

Creche from Dr. Carroll

This wonderfully colorful and primitive wooden nativity was probably made in Mexico.


Creche from Dr. Carroll

This large wooden nativity was carved from a single piece of wood, except for the Baby Jesus, who the artist carved separately, using a darker wood. The country where Dr. Carroll purchased this is unknown to us.