Embracing their inner satan on the highway to hell…
(Courier-Post) –FRANKLIN — Statuary that has greeted generations of families at St. Mary’s Church in Malaga was desecrated Thursday morning in what Franklin Township police describe as a vicious, sustained pre-dawn attack.
Many of the eight damaged statues were decapitated, and some parishioners did what they could to reassemble them. One woman daubed holy water on part of the hand from a statue of the Virgin Mary. Someone else placed its head back in position.
Franklin police Sgt. James Reilly said there are no suspects, but police are looking for surveillance camera footage.
Peter Feuerherd, a spokesman for the Camden Diocese, arrived at the church Thursday afternoon. He said the attack appears to have taken place between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.
“Whoever is the assailant definitely took his time and really caused some damage,” Reilly said. “It wasn’t a 30-second melee.”
The vandalism actually took place on two properties.
On the church lawn, a stone grotto dating from about 1955 holds a white statue of the Virgin Mary. Its head is badly dented but largely intact. The wall of the grotto is close to the statue, leaving little room to swing a bat or other instrument.
A brick grotto, just outside the church, holds a statue of Jesus. Its head was removed.
Across the street, the former rectory now is a hall for the local council of the Knights of Columbus. A statue of Mary sits on a flower bed; in front of it is a semicircle of statues depicting several people kneeling at prayer and several lambs.
The head on a statue of Mary was knocked off along with the heads of the kneeling figures.
Police and parishioners said there has never been anything like this attack here.
The church is on the 200 block of Old Dutch Mill Road,….
Anyone with information is asked to contact police dispatch at (856) 694-1414.