(CBS) — A vandal’s attack has left a statue of the patron saint of a Catholic church in Portage Park off its pedestal and headless.

Some parishioners of St. Bartholomew’s Church, 4949 W. Patterson Ave., are voicing disgust.

St. Bartholomew Church’s namesake statue has been vandalized. (St. Bartholomew School/Facebook)


This is how the statute of St. Bartholomew looked like before being vandalized (courtesy: Rev. Ricardo Castillo)

Others, including its pastor, the Rev. Ricardo Castillo, are asking why.

“Who did this? What is the main reason? It’s very confusing. I don’t have any idea why they did it. If I only knew,” he says.

St. Bart’s, on the Northwest Side, is a thriving bilingual parish of 1,800 families that is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Passersby spotted the headless statue toppled at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday, and Father Castillo has no idea how long it had been there. The rest of the statue, carved by the sculptor Tim Schmaltz, has been placed in a safe storage location.

“My heart dropped when I saw the statue down, with its head off,” Father Castillo says.

The only other vandalism occurred in January, when someone set a fire in a recycling bin, he says.

Father Castillo vandals return the head of the statue.

The statue was moved outside from the sanctuary of the church, facing Addison Street, 20 years ago. When repaired, he expects it to be returned to its original location.

Oddly, St. Bart’s is giving one-foot-high replicas of the statue to major donors in an ongoing fund-raising campaign. Father Castillo would much rather have the original, restored with its original head, gracing the church sanctuary again.