Downingtown, PA (WPVI) – Police are looking for people responsible for vandalizing four marble statues outside St. Joseph’s Church in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
Father Stephen Lewa said he felt violent after waking up Sunday morning to find the devastation.
“I was sad because it’s a statue, but it’s such a part of who we are,” said Leva of St. Joseph Catholic Church.
Now Saint Joseph lies headless and broken right next to the main entrance to the church.
“They had to work very hard to move these statues,” Leva said.
We also found St. Anthony destroyed with the severed head of the baby Jesus.
“People came crying and some were very upset and very angry,” Leva said.
“We were really heartbroken to think that someone would walk on our property and do this,” said parishioner Joyce Castaldi.
Long-time parishioners of St. Joseph’s Church were devastated when they went to Mass on Sunday morning to discover such a malicious act.
“I don’t know why we’re being targeted. We’re open to everybody here,” Castaldi said.
Two other statues were damaged but were salvageable and have since been repaired. Amazingly, the manger remained intact.
“The first thing we must do is to forgive, especially in this season of Advent. And then, hopefully, we can rise above it and move on from it,” Leva said.
Leva said he believes the damage is in the thousands of dollars and is working with their insurance company to see if any portion can be reimbursed.
The parishioners of the church were also kind enough to offer help in restoring the statues. The church currently does not have cameras monitoring the exterior of the church, but Leva says he is looking into it.
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