Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Sonja Corbitt

5/27/2010 (5 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Acts of religious violence serve as grim reminders that what is sacred to some is simply seen by others as an invitation to desecrate, and that in circumstances where the hatred is so obvious, there is nothing more powerful than prayer.

Vandalized statue.

Vandalized statue.


By Sonja Corbitt

Catholic Online (

5/27/2010 (5 years ago)

Published in U.S.

NASHVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Maywood, CA is cleaning up after extensive vandalism to its school kitchen and auditorium over the weekend. Security cameras caught two men breaking in through the kitchen, where most of the damage was perpetrated, and taped them ravaging the facility for almost an hour and a half.

A cross was burned and jammed, inverted, into a damaged stove. A knife was plunged into the face of a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Feces were left on the auditorium floor. The satanic number "666" was scrawled in various places throughout the facility. Condiments and food staples covered every surface. Butter was flung on the heavy, velvet auditorium curtains, staining them irreparably. 

Because the damage was particularly pernicious, the police, who are in possession of the video, are characterizing the vandalism as a hate crime. "I can feel the sadness of spirit," said Fr. David Velasquez, the pastor of St. Rose of Lima, when speaking of those who came to help clean up the mess in an interview with KCAL 9 TV.

This is simply the most recent of what seems to be a rash of cases of religiously motivated vandalism. Last month, a statue of Mary was desecrated in Charlotte, NC. The statue was decapitated and her praying hands were shattered in the prayer garden at St. Matthew Catholic Church.

The vandalized statue provided a teachable moment for Monsignor John McSweeney when he and parishioners stopped in the rose garden where the statue was located; they took the opportunity to pray for the vandals teach their children that "nothing is immune from violence."

Two weeks ago, the pastor of Weymouth Catholic Church, in Weymouth Mass. Discovered a "heinous act" of destruction to a 66-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary outside his own church. The statue, placed in a grotto beside the church in 1944 by Boy Scouts to honor 16 men killed in World War II, was also decapitated and left in pieces.

Although each of these incidents was reported to police, there are no suspects and no arrests have been made. Such acts of religious violence, rather than merely vandalism, are felt to be attacks on people's faith and values by the members of the parishes in which they are perpetrated.

They also serve as grim reminders that what is sacred to some is simply seen by others as an invitation to desecrate, and that in circumstances where the hatred is so obvious, there is nothing more powerful than prayer.


Sonja Corbitt is a Catholic speaker, Scripture teacher and study author and a contributing author for Catholic Online. She is available to speak on the New Feminism, current events and your preferred theme. Visit her at for information and sample videos, or


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More U.S.

What it was like to fly Pope Francis around America: American Airlines crew speaks out Watch

Image of The Pope blessed the crew, their families, and the plane during his tour.


Pope Francis' American Airlines flight crew has opened up about the spiritual experience, claiming the papal meeting was "like seeing God." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pilot George Griffin, his co-pilots and 15 cabin crew members were picked from a pool of ... continue reading

New ISIS video features a 'cub of the caliphate' directly threaten US President Barack Obama Watch

Image of A young ISIS member delivers a threat to US President Barack Obama (YouTube).


A young ISIS jihadi was featured in an ISIS video dressed in army fatigues and holding a rocket launcher as he  delivered a threat to US President Barack Obama. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A young boy who looks to be no more than 10-years-old was recorded ... continue reading

Did Clinton hide the discovery of the Khobar Towers bombers? Watch

Image of Former US President Bill Clinton (Brothersoft)


In order to reestablish diplomatic ties with Tehran, former U.S. President Bill Clinton hid the discovery of Iran's involvement of the Khobar Towers bombing which killed 19 U.S. servicemen in 1996. The allegations are not new, but in a recent report, heavy evidence ... continue reading

Terrorists can easily enter the U.S. through Texas/Mexico border Watch

Image of


Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Steve McCraw, warned the U.S. was vulnerable in terms of infiltration through the country's southern border. McCraw reported some people coming from countries flagged to have "terrorism presence."  LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

STUDY: Arabic, Urdu the fastest growing secondary languages in the United States Watch

Image of The most recent census study shows that the fastest-growing foreign languages are languages spoken by immigrants from Muslim-majority countries.


The Census Bureau's 2014 American Community Survey reports that between 2010 and 2014, there was a 29 percent increase in Arabic spoken in the United States. There is also a 23 percent increase in Urdu, and a nine percent jump in Persian, the language spoken in ... continue reading

California mother punched in the face by police files lawsuit Watch

Image of The police officer allegedly pulled over Cindy Hahn moments later on an alleged seat belt violation and arrested Hahn as her children watched.


The one sure thing about cell phone technology is that authority figures will not be able to slip easily from the law. A 40-year-old mother is suing the city of Carlsbad, California after being physically assaulted by police officers in July of 2013. It was all ... continue reading

Cargo ship missing after sailing into Hurricane Joaquin Watch

Image of Katie and Keith Griffin (Facebook).


El Faro, a cargo ship, was caught in Hurricane Joaquin, leaving several American crew members missing. Worried friends and family of the missing staff members continue to hope for survivors. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The US Coast Guard announced that they ... continue reading

Oregon shooting hero still in recovery: Donations for his medical expenses surpass $700,000 Watch

Image of Chris Mintz.


Chris Mintz left a happy birthday message for his nonverbal autistic son on Thursday before going to his classes at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Later, he reportedly set off fire alarms as a gunman opened fire. Mintz charged the shooter, was ... continue reading

Two farmers in Michigan unearth woolly mammoth remains Watch

Image of Because of the tight harvest schedule, the farmers gave researchers a single day to unearth the find. Excavators worked intently last week until sundown.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two farmers in Michigan made a momentous find while they dug a drainage ditch. The remains of a woolly mammoth, enormous tusks intact, was unearthed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - James Bristle of Lima Township was digging in a soybean field early last week ... continue reading

President Obama shares how Pope Francis's visit to the U.S. makes him want to be better Watch

Image of President Obama with Pope Francis during the pontiffs visit to the U.S.


It has been a week since Pope Francis' historical visit to the U.S. However, his presence and inspiration continues to linger as President Obama revealed he wants to become better after his meeting with the Pope. WASHINGTON D.C. (Catholic Online) - The pope is back in ... continue reading

All U.S. News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2
13 Priests, put on sackcloth and lament! You ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 9:2-3, 6, 16, 8-9
6 the enemy is wiped out -- mere ruins for ever -- ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:15-26
15 But some of them said, 'It is through Beelzebul, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 9th, 2015 Image

Sts. Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius
October 9: The first mention we have of these three martyrs who died around ... Read More