(CBS) — It’s a holy place repeatedly desecrated by vandalism.
Now, St. Patrick Catholic Church in McHenry is a victim for a third time.
CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports the pastor is reaching out to the community and to the person who vandalized his church.
On Feb. 5, a bronze and metal statue of St. Patrick was toppled to the ground, shattering it into pieces. The incident was captured on surveillance video.
Father Godwin Asuquo says the act of destruction gave him “a sense that people have lost a sense of awe and respect for the Divine.”
The toppled statue is the latest incident of vandalism. Police have charged a 17-year-old with criminal damage to property at a place of worship, theft and burglary, for two prior incidents.
In June, authorities say the teen broke parts of the statute, even severing the fingers from it and then threw them on the church roof. Damage was estimated at $15,000 to $20,000.
“The only thing I would do would be to appeal to all men and women of conscience, be it from St. Patrick here or elsewhere, if they can come to our help, we would greatly appreciate that,” Asuquo says.
In July, it’s alleged, the same teen broke into a box used to collect money for the poor.
“I pray that God should forgive this person, give him a change of heart, so there will be peace in the neighborhood and peace in the society,” Asuquo says.
At the moment McHenry police say there’s no evidence the three incidents are related.
For information on how to help the church restore the statue, click here.