CNA Staff, Jul 17, 2020 / 08:01 am
A church in the New Haven, Connecticut parish at which the Knights of Columbus was founded was vandalized this week, with a satanic symbol painted on the door.
Fr. Michael McGivney, who will soon be beatified, began his priestly ministry at St. Mary’s Parish in New Haven, the city’s first parish, in 1877. The priest founded the Knights of Columbus there in 1882.
In 2018, nearby St. Joseph Church became part of St. Mary's Parish during a diocesan consolidation process. Fr. John Paul Walker, OP, the parish pastor said in a Facebook post Thursday that vandalism at St. Joseph Church had taken place overnight.
“Words and various symbols including a satanic one were painted on the outside doors of the church,” Walker said.
“While we assess the situation and make plans to bless the church, the church will remain closed at least through the end of the day today,” he said. “Our two daily Masses, confessions, and afternoon Adoration are therefore canceled. We will be live streaming Mass at noon from the priory chapel.”
Mass and other liturgies ordinarily take place at both church buildings in the parish. But because of renovations underway at St. Mary's Church, all parish liturgies have been taking place in St. Joseph Church.
Fr. Walker wrote on Facebook that it is not yet clear if the church will be able to reopen Friday. When it does reopen, it will be unlocked during Mass and confession times only.
“I would ask everyone in the parish to pray to Our Lord in reparation for this sacrilege, and to St. Michael for protection against all the powers of hell,” the priest said. “Please pray, too, for the perpetrator of this action, who is clearly a very disturbed individual in need of serious help.”
Police are investigating the vandalism, Walker told CNA Friday, and federal investigators could also become involved.
The incident is the latest in a growing trend of vandalism against Catholic churches in the past week.