CHICAGO (CBS) — A west suburban church was vandalized and, according to the pastor, two young people have been arrested and charged with misdemeanors.
It happened Sunday evening at St. Odilo Church in the 2200 block of East Avenue in Berwyn.
Fr. Anthony Brankin said he and others were preparing for a prayer service to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe when “somebody had yelled something very loud and offensive in the church, and we knew something was up.”
Shortly after that, nuns came into the church, and told everyone the statues of Mary and Joseph in the nuns’ garden had been decapitated, and the statue of Jesus knocked over, according to Brankin.
“I really feel like if something happened to my mom or my dad, I would have the same feeling because she is my heavenly mother,” Sister Alphonse said.
“When we announced it to the people that that had happened, you could see the pain on their faces,” he said. “They took that insult to God, they took it to themselves.”
CBS 2’s Pamela Jones was told people inside the church heard one of the vandals yell “Long Live Satan.”
Brankin said the vandals also egged the Nativity scene in front of St. Odilo’s, and threw an egg on the floor of the church entryway.
The priest said Berwyn police did a great job of investigating, and yesterday staked out the area around the church until they spotted a couple of young people walking through an alley, carrying a box of eggs. Brankin said the “boys” were arrested and charged with misdemeanors.
Brankin said the incident will be a “learning experience for them,” and he’s sure they’re sorry.
Parishioners prayed Wednesday night to embrace the spirit of forgiveness for the suspects who disrespected their holy place.
“It’s very tragic that other people are not respecting our religion and it’s an act that should not be tolerated,” said parishioner Angie Herrera.