By now, I’m sure that you have all heard about the disturbing events of this past Sunday. For those of you who might not know, we had someone break into the church overnight last weekend. (More accurately, someone hid in the church before we locked up for the night.) This individual then vandalized the church, most notably by setting off two fire extinguishers in the back of the church and in the choir loft, as well as kicking in a vent in the choir loft. The individual was apprehended early Sunday morning as he attempted to vandalize another neighborhood business. Most importantly, no one was hurt.
After moving Sunday Masses into the gym, we contracted with First Response (the same company that orchestrated the cleanup from our sacristy fire) to clean up the mess and get us back into the church. (As I write this column, we are still assessing whether there will be any special cleanup required for the pipe organ.) We may never know this individual’s motivations for doing what he did, but the Pastoral Team will review this thoroughly to determine how this incident might prompt us to take another look at our security procedures.
I am grateful for everyone who reacted so quickly to this situation, especially since I was away on vacation and unable to help. Fr. Geoff took charge of the situation, and he and Jessica Roberts made sure that we were ready to celebrate Mass in the gym on short notice. Deacon Joe, Abby Doyle, Leslie Burns and Amanda Jeffrey worked to identify the damage and provide the police with the information they needed. And so many of our parishioners pitched in to help us set up for the gym Mass, which was a wonderful display of community. Thanks to all of you! That’s just one more reason I feel so blessed to be a part of this parish.