EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A historic Sacred Heart of Jesus statue inside of the sanctuary of St. Patrick’s Cathedral was destroyed on Tuesday morning.

Diocese officials say the church was vandalized this morning at around 10 a.m.

“I am in shock and we at the Cathedral are heartbroken over such an unexpected situation,” said Fr. Trini Fuentes, the Rector of St. Patrick Cathedral.

A suspect came into the sanctuary at St. Patrick Cathedral and destroyed the almost 90-year-old statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was located in the center behind the main altar of the church. The church was open and available for prayer.

“As sad as I am to see a statue attacked and destroyed, I am grateful that it was not a living person,” Bishop Seitz added. “But a statue, particularly this statue, concretizes and connects us to persons and ideals that are not visible to our eyes. They reveal to us realities that are close to us, but unseen,” he said.

A suspect has been detained by the El Paso Police Department. The police are currently continuing their investigation into the vandalism.

“At this point, we do not know anything about the person who carried out this assault, but he certainly must be a person who is greatly disturbed to have attacked this peaceful place in our city and this image of the King of Peace. I hope this might be the impetus for him to receive the help he needs. He will be in my prayers,” Seitz added.

This is not the first time an El Paso church has been vandalized. In fact, it’s the second time St. Patrick’s has been vandalized in the last 18 months.

  • May 7, 2019 – St. Matthew Catholic Church; 400 W. Sunset
  • May 12, 2019 – St. Patrick Cathedral; 1118 N. Mesa
  • June 15, 2019 – St. Jude; 4006 Hidden Way
  • December 6, 2019 – St. Thomas Aquinas; 10970 Bywood
  • June 14, 2020 – Destiny Family Christian Center; 9615 Dyer Street
  • July 20, 2020 – Abundant Living Faith Center West; 7100 N. Desert Boulevard