When the Rev. Joseph Escobar found what vandals had done to his historical and popular church, Our Lady of the Rosary, he decided to leave the desecration exactly as he found it. So when parishioners arrived for Mass in English and Portuguese on Saturday evening and Sunday morning, they immediately saw the scene that had greeted him: An arched granite pulpit completely shattered, its artfully curved pieces crushing floral displays beneath it and littering the floor, and rosary beads brazenly swiped from the statue of the Virgin Mary. “The people were kind of shocked. You could see the hurt in their faces,” Escobar said on Sunday. “I left everything the way it was so people could see what happened. There was quite a bit of destruction.” Escobar did not allow the vandalism to interfere with services at the Catholic church off Wickenden Street in Fox Point. But he did make a point of talking about it during services. “There was a terrible act of violence,” he said. “We need to pray for the person who did it because, obviously, he’s troubled. And we need to pray that he is apprehended so it doesn’t happen anywhere else.” The vandalism at the heavily ethnic congregation comes amid recent violence at other minority churches around the country, including the fatal shootings at the predominantly black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and suspicious fires at other churches in the South since then.
Rhode Island church vandalized
Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 07/06/15
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