While one of the Daughters of St. Paul tweeted on Sunday morning that she "bet people were really disappointed when they got home and found that all they had to show for it was a handful of religious books," Dugas said she is unsure what, if any, books were actually taken. Of more concern to her was the chapel with the Blessed Sacrament on the ground floor behind the bookstore, which survived the night unscathed. "We just are really grateful for that," Dugas said.
As tweets circulated about what happened to the bookstore, support began pouring in for the nuns both online and in the form of volunteer help.
"People are telling us what our ministry has meant to them, and what our presence means to them, and that they feel that having had this happen was a violation and should never happen to anyone," Dugas said.
A friend at Chicago's cathedral reached out to check on the nuns, and Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles-the former rector of the Chicago archdiocese's Mundelein Seminary -reached out to the sisters to say "that he really, really has always valued our mission, and feels that if he can do anything to help us, to just let know" Dugas said.
One family helped the nuns clean the broken glass outside the store, and another group helped clean up inside. The front entrance and front windows are now boarded up.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">On today's NunBlog: Pauline Bookstore Chicago Looting Update and How You Can Help <a href="https://t.co/wRZ0zJqiA7">https://t.co/wRZ0zJqiA7</a> <a href="https://t.co/AWFZd1G4SS">pic.twitter.com/AWFZd1G4SS</a></p>— Sister Anne (@nunblogger) <a href="https://twitter.com/nunblogger/status/1267470125281824768?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 1, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
"Our main concern is fire. That's our main concern, if they managed to get some kind of flammable into the store," Dugas said. "It seems that they came with quite a lot of equipment."
Despite the unsettling nature of the incident, Dugas said it emphasized the critical nature of the sisters' mission of evangelizing in the spirit of St. Paul.
"That's what St. Paul was all about, meeting them where they really are," Dugas said, noting that the pandemic had already pushed the nuns to "adapt" to new means of reaching minds and hearts.
"We really are meant to be a family that helps each other, that serves one another, and that forgives," she said.