EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — This afternoon, local faith leaders and parishioners said the act of vandalism at St. Patrick Cathedral will not run their faith to the ground.
Church goers who normally go to mass at St. Patrick Cathedral would see the 90-year-old statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Now that it’s been destroyed, the faith community said it’s bringing them even closer together.
“We’ve been a member of this church for so, so long. It’s a beautiful church. We’re devastated as to what happened with our beautiful Jesus,” Doris Gurss, longtime church goer at St. Patrick Cathedral told KTSM.
Parishioners gathered the day after the church was vandalized without a familiar and historic sight.
“It does feel like an attack on our faith, it feels like an attack on our community and what ties us together and brings us together,” Father Michael Lewis of St. Patrick Cathedral said.
While feeling attacked, parishioners said they’re standing strong with one another.
“We can’t let our reaction to it forget what that statue symbolizes which is again the enduring love and mercy of Jesus Christ,” Father Lewis shared.
As we’ve reported, El Paso police arrested the suspect they say destroyed the Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue, which reportedly happened shortly after some churches reopened the doors to the public at a limited capacity.
“He damaged the statue, but he can’t damage our faith. He can’t damage our faith and what that statue represents,” Father Lewis said.
“We’ll forgive this man for doing what he did to us. But that’s the way you should do. That’s what Jesus would do,” Gurss added.
Faith leaders said the statue is irreplaceable, however a plan is in motion to bring it back, “We do have every intention to bring that statue back to the center of our worship space where it has been and provided that comfort for 90 years,” Father Lewis shared.
The Diocese of El Paso said it’s setting up a fund for the Sacred Heart Statue, and to help with security at St. Patrick Cathedral. For more information click here.
The cathedral reminds the community that it will still be operating mass at a limited capacity, and invites the faithful and all members of the public to come and visit.