St. Joseph’s Church in Port Moody, about 10 miles east of Vancouver, was also found vandalized the morning of June 13. A pro-life memorial gravestone was knocked to the ground, while the stone on which it was standing has been broken.
Fr. Mark McGuckin, pastor of St. Joseph’s, told CNA around the same time the memorial was knocked over, new building developments next to the parish had been burning down in what likely was an incident of arson.
McGuckin considered himself and his church community “very fortunate and blessed” because of the damp weather conditions. “The fire was so hot that flying embers landed on our church roof,” he told CNA, “and had it been three weeks of real dry season that could have really caught on fire.”
“I think it's unrelated,” Fr. McGuckin said, doubting the connection between the vandalism at St. Augustine’s and the vandalism at his church. “We would have had clearer messaging around the residential school if that was someone who wanted to express themselves that way.”
The pro-life gravestone has been temporarily fixed but lays at a 45 degree angle, while it awaits full refurbishment.
Fr. McGuckin told CNA that over the weekend, there had been peaceful protests at Catholic churches in the area.