January 16, 2019 5:29 pm
Updated: January 17, 2019 8:13 am

‘My heart just sank’: St. Peter’s Catholic Church vandalized

WATCH ABOVE: Staff at St. Peter's Catholic Church were "heartbroken" to find their place of worship was vandalized sometime Sunday night. David Baxter reports.

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Broken glass from smashed light fixtures, a massive mess of papers and a destroyed collection basket greeted police as they entered St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Regina Monday morning.

The vandalism extended throughout the sanctuary. A statue of the Virgin Mary, piano and alter were all knocked down, a projector was ripped from its mount, a framed photo smashed and sculptures representing the Stations of the Cross were pulled from the walls.

“When I first came in at a quarter after nine my heart just sank,” pastoral assistant Paulette Bulmer said.

She and her husband had to wait outside, while police conducted their initial investigation of the area.

“After they left at one o’clock we walked around and assessed the damage and our hearts were broken. Of course it looked way worse than it actually was, thank Heaven, it was more vandalism than damage,” Bulmer continued.

Some of the damage at St. Peter’s Catholic Church.

Sean Lerat-Stetner/Global News

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Despite the vandalism, there wasn’t any serious damage and everything appeared to be beyond repair, aside from the broken glass.

The Regina Police Service are currently investigating this as a break and enter and mischief case.

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Even with no signs of lasting damage, the act of vandalism hit the church hard.

“It looked just awful. We were all saddened. This is our home and our place of employment. Who would do this needless act? It just hurts every one of us. We were all just in shock,” Bulmer said.

The cleanup began Wednesday, once police and the insurance company completed their necessary on-site work.

None of the sacred items, like the Mary statue, suffered damage. Despite being removed from its pedestal, Regina Archdiocese communications director Eric Gurash believes it was laid down, instead of knocked down.

Otherwise, it likely would have suffered significant damage in the fall.

The Virgin Mary statue at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, returned to its proper place.

Sean Lerat-Stetner/Global News

“There certainly seems to have been in the midst of these acts of destruction some sensitivity to the sacredness of the space still, so there’s some hope in there as well,” he said.

“I think that’s why we’d be pretty reluctant to outright condemn or seek any kind of revenge on somebody who had perpetrated something like this.”

In his time at the Archdiocese, Gurash said they have experienced petty theft at churches, but can’t recall anything like this.

“We don’t know what kinds of challenges and difficulties the individuals have in their own lives that would move them to cause such extensive damage,” Gurash said.

Broken glass spread across a pew at St. Peter’s Catholic Church.

Sean Lerat-Stetner/Global News

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Weekday services had to be cancelled at the church to allow the space to be cleaned. Mass will proceed as scheduled on Saturday and Sunday.

“It’s going to be wonderful! Saturday and Sunday masses are back on track, and everything will be back to normal. We did get a little blurp in our faith life for just one second, but everything will be back to normal,” Bulmer said.

“This is our spiritual home, and it’s still here and it’s still alive.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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