CHINO—Another West End parish was the target of vandalism last month as St. Margaret Mary Church in Chino discovered the head of its statue of the Virgin Mary had been knocked off.
It was the second parish in that Vicariate this year to have a Marian statue defaced. Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Montclair had its statues of Mary and St. Bernadette partially destroyed by a vandal on Feb. 25.
The attack on the statue at St. Margaret Mary occurred on April 1. Father Michael Miller, Pastor, said parishioners have responded with kindness and compassion toward the suspect, who remains at large. With renovations for the parish set for next year, the Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Area, where the Virgin Mary’s statue is placed, will be relocated to the front of the church where there is better lighting. Future plans to install security cameras are in place as well, in order to prevent further attempts of vandalism.
The wave of parish vandalism is not limited to the West End of the Diocese. On March 25, St. Louis Parish in Cathedral City was vandalized and also saw its replica of the Cristo Negro, or Black Christ of Esquipulas, stolen from the church. The large ebony colored crucifix, valued at $1,600, is an image of the Lord that is very meaningful to Catholics from Central America who belong to the parish, Father Luis Guido, Pastor, said.