An incident of vandalism against a Catholic Church statue of Mary received a happy ending, as the St. John Kanty Parish community in Buffalo raised more than $1,000 to buy a replacement statue over the summer. Bishop Richard J. Malone blessed the new statue during a parish visit Aug. 14.
According to the original story in The Buffalo News, the original statue was pulled off of its foundation and smashed in the face with a baseball bat in mid-May. A hateful note was left behind, "This building will be destroyed. Stop worshiping Mary. Worship God. Catholics are a man-made religion."
Despite the note, the community around St. John Kanty was unbowed, using a Go Fund Me online campaign to quickly raise $1,175 to purchase a replacement statue.
Bishop Malone came to St. John Kanty in August to bless the statue and celebrate the Vigil Mass on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
"The Church recognizes in Mary, the model of the path and the practice it must follow to reach a complete union with Christ," the bishop said during the Mass. "We should strive to take part in this service with the greatest intensity and reverant devotion."
The bishop was pleased to see the community come together to replace the statue after the vandalism, while keeping St. John Kanty an important landmark in the East Side community of Buffalo.
"Special thanks to all of those who were supportive of this gesture, the parish leadership and those who contributed so we can restore Mary to this historic corner here," the bishop said.