Brooklyn Heights

St. Charles Borromeo Church’s Statue of Mary is vandalized

Surveillance Camera Captures Incident; Police Investigating It as Bias Crime

June 15, 2015 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary vandalized in front of the Parish Center/Rectory at 31 Sidney Place. Photo courtesy of St. Charles Borromeo Church
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The statue of the Blessed Mary, Mother of Jesus that sits outside the Rectory/Parish Center of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Brooklyn Heights was vandalized early Friday morning, June 12.

The Rev. Edward Doran, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo, reported the incident to the police who are investigating it as a bias crime, he told the Brooklyn Eagle. According to reports, no priests or parishioners were assaulted. The vandalism was limited to property.

The vandals attacked the statue, both uprooting and damaging its base. However, the statue itself incurred no damage, as it fell on soft earth (garden soil). The base itself will be repaired.

Cameras mounted in front of the Rectory/Parish Center recorded the entire incident, which took place at 2:14 a.m. Rev. Doran explained that the recording shows two teens running up Sidney Place from the Joralemon St. end.

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“One held his cell phone to create a video of his ‘friend’ knocking the statue off its base to the ground,” he said.

The teens then ran southbound to State Street.

“Police are very confident that the clarity of this video will lead to an arrest of the vandals,”. Doran told the Eagle.

This statue was imported from France in the 1960s through donations gathered amongst the various parishioners who attended St. Charles at that time. Monsignor Charles E. Diviney, the beloved pastor of St. Charles from 1959-1978, dedicated the statue in 1964.

Since that time, the statue has stood as a tribute to the mother of Jesus. Parishioners and neighbors alike have appreciated the beauty of the statue and many pause to offer a prayer as they walk past it. Father Doran told the Eagle on Sunday that he is attempting to repair the damage as quickly as possible.

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