This photo of the decapitated statue of the Virgin Mary St. Margaret Parish in Burlington was released by the Burlington Police Dept. March 29. Pilot photo/courtesy Burlington Police
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At least two parishes in the archdiocese found themselves the targets of vandals as they marked the Easter Triduum and Easter week.
On Good Friday, March 25, a statue of the Virgin Mary at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Norwood was covered in black spray-paint, with initial reports suggesting it might be beyond repair. Only days later, in the early morning hours of March 29, parts of three statues at St. Margaret Parish in Burlington were broken, including the decapitation of a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Police investigations on both of incidents are still ongoing.
"This type of thing hits you right in the gut, it saddens you very much," St. Margaret pastor Father Frank Silva told The Pilot, March 30.
He said that as the news of the incident got out, he felt it was important to share what had happened with children in the parish, many of whom had come to religious education classes on March 29.
"We actually went over to the grotto, where the children were able to see firsthand what had occurred, but more importantly, able to offer prayers for, first of all, the individual or individuals that did this, certainly in hopes that their hearts would be changed, and also prayed for ourselves, that we would know a healing for the hurt we might feel in seeing something so sacred being vandalized," he said.
Two of the statues had their hands broken off, while another statue, one of the Virgin Mary, had both its hands and its head removed. Rosary beads were also removed and scattered across the ground.
Father Silva said he was also informed by police early that morning that "a truck that had been parked on (St. Margaret's) facilities had been set on fire and had been destroyed," and police were investigating it.
He said hours later he learned that a neighboring parish, St. Mary in Billerica, had been vandalized, likely sometime during the night on March 29.
The Pilot was unable to confirm the details of the Billerica incident by press time.