The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

A vandalized statue, a “teachable moment”

A statue of Mary was desecrated over the weekend in North Carolina.


B82310513Z.1_20100425174355_000+GP219SAJC.3-0.embedded.prod_affiliate.138.jpgAt the urging of their pastor, members of St. Matthew Catholic Church stopped at a rose garden on church grounds Sunday to pray for whoever knocked off the head and praying hands of a concrete Virgin Mary statue and to teach their children that even a peaceful garden in full bloom is not protected from violence.


“This is a teachable moment,” Monsignor John McSweeney, the church’s pastor, said between Masses on Sunday. “At each Mass, we’re asking people to take a look at the reality of violence in the world today. We’re asking them to reflect on their own emotions – of anger, or hurt – and to pray for the individuals or individual who felt the need to do this.

“I don’t know why anyone would feel that need.”

The desecration took place between Friday midnight and 5 a.m. Saturday, when it was first discovered, McSweeney said.

The head and hands had been cleanly knocked off, with little damage to the rest of the 3-foot statue. The pastor said the vandalism didn’t look random or accidental, “but it seems to me purposely done.”

He said the church, for now, will keep the damaged statue in the same spot to stir members to continue their reflections.

You can find more background and reaction at the link.

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