EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Sacred Heart of Jesus statue that hung in St. Patrick Cathedral’s sanctuary in Central El Paso has been restored after being vandalized in September.
El Paso Catholic Bishop Mark Seitz says the statue was thought to be lost, but it’s been repaired and rehung behind the church’s main altar for everyone to see.
“That statue was toppled by an obviously disturbed man, and it fell as you can see quite a long way to the floor of the church, and it seemed like it had been damaged beyond repair,” said Bishop Mark Seitz.
As we reported, police arrested Thirty-year-old Isaiah Cantrell in connection to the statue’s vandalism that left pieces of the historic statue shattered.
The almost 90-year-old statue was repaired by the same company that built it out of Chicago.
“They still had molds and faces of other statues that were very similar, and they were able to restore this statue in an incredible way,” said Seitz.
Hundreds of people donated a total of $38,549 to the Cathedral Heart Statue Fund to restore the statue.
“Everybody in El Paso recognized this sign of welcome, and it hurt all of us deeply to see it lost, apparently lost, and how fitting that it was at Easter time that this came back,” Seitz.
The money also going towards an upgraded security system for St. Patrick Cathedral.
“Cameras and things like that, they have people who are more attentive to the place when it’s open, and they will certainly be watching, observing more,” said Seitz.
While Bishop Seitz says more measures are being taken to make the church more secure, he stresses that the church will remain unlocked most of the time.
“However, the only way we could truly make it impenetrable is to lock the church all the time, and we’re not going to do that because Jesus’s arms are open and welcome,” said Seitz. “And that always involves a little risk when you welcome somebody, but that’s what Jesus does, and so we’ll take that risk.”