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Arson, Theft and Vandalism Directed Against Catholic Churches, Schools, Cemeteries, Pregnancy Care Centers and Religious Iconography in Massachusetts

2022:

  1. February 18-19, 2022—Saint Stephen Cemetery, Framingham—In the second incident in four months, vandals toppled seven headstones.
  2. February 22, 2022—Saint Elizabeth Parish, Ludlow—The church sign, a donation drop box for clothing and a statue of Mother Marie-Ann were spray painted. Obscenities were painted on the drop box.
  3. June 27, 2022—Saint George Parish, Framingham—Red paint was splattered at the entrance to the church and on a statue of Christ at the front of the church.
  4. July 20-21, 2022—Saint George Parish, Framingham—“Pedo priest” was spray painted on a building on the church property.
  5. July 27-28, 2022—Saint Ambrose Parish, Dorchester—Overnight, the rope on the flagpole in front of the church was cut, and the Papal flag was brought down and stolen.
  6. August 17-18, 2022—Bethlehem House Pregnancy Care Center, (Diocese of Springfield), Easthampton—The building and surrounding walkway and benches were splattered with red and black paint, with the message “If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you!” spray painted on the walkway, along with a pentagram. The words “Jane’s Revenge” was spray painted on the stone benches.

 

2021:

  1. January, 2021—Saint Teresa of Calcutta Parish, Dorchester—Eggs and trash were thrown against the doors of the church.
  2. January, 2021—Saint Teresa of Calcutta Parish, Dorchester—A second incident occurred involving eggs and trash.
  3. January, 2021—Saint Teresa of Calcutta Parish, Dorchester—A third incident occurred involving eggs and trash.
  4. March 5, 2021—Saint Monica-Saint Augustine Parish, South Boston—The hands on a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary were smashed, and the statue was toppled.
  5. March 11-12, 2021—Saint John Paul II Academy, Dorchester—Sealant was inserted in the door locks of the school building.
  6. March 11-12, 2021—Saint Teresa of Calcutta Parish, Dorchester—Sealant was inserted in the door locks of the church, and a bicycle lock was placed on the handles of the front doors.
  7. March 11-12, 2021—Saint Monica-Saint Augustine Parish, South Boston—Sealant was inserted in the door locks of the church, and a newly repaired statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was toppled.
  8. April 8-9, 2021—Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Ludlow—A floral arch over a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was set on fire.
  9. May 2, 2021—Saint Charles Borromeo Parish, Waltham—A statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was decapitated, and its hands were torn off.
  10. June 10, 2021—Saint Mary’s School, Franklin—Windows were broken and chemicals were poured inside the closed school building, causing “tens of thousands of dollars” of damage.
  11. August 4, 2021—Saint Joseph’s Parish, Pittsfield—a side door of the church was charred inside and outside by an arson fire.
  12. August 17-18, 2021—Saint Joseph Parish, Pittsfield—In an August 19th media interview, a parishioner claimed that there was a second arson attempt, also on the doors of the church.
  13. October 25, 2021—Saint Stephen Cemetery, Framingham—Headstones on the graves of 25 Sisters of Saint Joseph were toppled.

 

2020:

  1. January 20, 2020—Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Stoughton—Statue of Our Lady damaged.
  2. April 13-14, 2020—Holy Family Parish, Rockland—Rocks were thrown overnight, breaking two stained glass windows in the church, and two windows in the rectory.
  3. July 11, 2020—Saint Peter’s Parish, Dorchester—The head and hands of a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary were charred after plastic flowers in the statue’s hands were ignited in an arson fire.
  4. July 11-12, 2020—Saint Margaret’s Parish, Dorchester—Overnight, a trash barrel was emptied and thrown over the head of a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  5. July 15-16, 2020—Saint Margaret’s Parish, Dorchester—In a repeat of the previous incident, a trash barrel was emptied and thrown over the head of the same statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  6. July 16, 2020—McAuley Nazareth Home for Boys, Leicester—A five foot granite statue of the Blessed Virgin was stolen from a grotto, and later recovered by Leicester Police on July 26th.
  7. August 1-2, 2020—Sacred Heart Parish,Weymouth—Two Molotov cocktails were hurled against the front doors of the church, causing fire damage to the front entranceway, and smoke damage inside.
  8. September 29, 2020—Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, Fall River—A cinder block was hurled through a window of the cathedral.
  9. December 26, 2020—Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, Fall River—Projectiles were shot or hurled through four stained glass windows in the cathedral, causing approximately $25,000 worth of damage to each window.

 

2019:

  1. March, 2019—Most Precious Blood Parish, Hyde Park—“unknown black female entered Most Precious Blood Church during closing and attempted to spray an unknown substance on the statues inside of the church.”
  2. March 11, 2019—Most Precious Blood Parish, Hyde Park—A statue was defaced with an “unknown red substance.”
  3. March 13, 2019—Saint Anne’s Parish, Readville—-A statue was defaced with an “unknown red substance.”
  4. March, 2019—Saint Gregory’s Parish, Dorchester—A statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was defaced with an “unknown red substance.”
  5. March/April, 2019—Saint Gregory’s Parish, Dorchester—Second incident with red substance on same statue.
  6. March/April, 2019—Saint Gregory’s Parish, Dorchester—Third incident with red substance on same statue.
  7. April 10, 2019—Saint Gregory’s Parish, Dorchester—Fourth incident with red substance on same statue.
  8. June 1, 2019—Saint Mark’s Parish, Dorchester—A statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was shattered and a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was thrown into a trash can.
  9. July 10, 2019—Sacred Heart Parish, East Boston—A piece of cement was hurled through a stained glass window depicting the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and graffiti was scribbled on the doors of the church.
  10. August 15, 2019—Saint Bernard’s Parish, Worcester—A $600 Paschal candle was placed against a column of the church and set on fire, destroying the candle and damaging the column.

 

2018:

  1. March 22, 2018—Saint Leonard Church, Boston—Religious items and furniture were damaged as a thief was confronted while trying to break open the money box for candles under the statue of Saint Lucy.
  2. August 17-18, 2018—Saint Mary of the Assumption Parish, Milford—According to Milford Police, the vandals “destroyed doors, broke stained glass, ransacked offices and storage areas, committed desecrating acts…stole or removed several religious artifacts, and left sacramental items broken or strewn throughout the floor and area of the church.” Press reports stated that the vandals sat on the altar smoking cannabis. An estimated $5,000 in damage was inflicted.

 

2017:

  1. February 7, 2017—Saint Edith Stein Parish, Brockton—A statue of Saint Edith Stein was splashed with white paint, while statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Francis of Assisi were spray painted black.
  2. July 28, 2017—Saint Peter’s Parish, Cambridge—In a vandalism spree in the Peabody Street neighborhood of Cambridge, 14 acts of malicious destruction were reported, including several on church property. The left arm of a statue of Saint Francis of Assisi was severed, an air conditioner attached to the school building was damaged, and six potted plants were destroyed.
  3. August 10, 2017—Catholic Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge—Several gravestones and monuments, including that of a 19th century priest, Father Manasses P. Dougherty, were defaced with red paint. Father Dougherty was the founder of two Cambridge parishes, Saint Paul in Harvard Square and Saint Peter on Concord Avenue.

 

2016:

  1. Good Friday, March 25, 2016—Saint Catherine of Siena Parish, Norwood—A statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was doused in black paint and defaced with graffiti.
  2. Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016—Saint Margaret Parish, Burlington—Three statues, two of Our Lady and one of Saint Joseph, had their hands severed. One of the statues of Our Lady was also decapitated. Rosaries attached to the statues were strewn on the ground.
  3. March 29, 2016—Saint Mary Parish, Billerica—A statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was decapitated and its hands were severed.
  4. June 12, 2016—Saint Charles Borromeo Parish, Pittsfield—$2,400 in damages were inflicted when a thief robbed money boxes in the church.
  5. September 21, 2016—Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston—A rock was hurled through an original, 19th century, stained glass window, causing $3,000 worth of damages.

 

2015:

  1. August 9, 2015—Saint Anne Parish, Southborough—The church was defaced by graffiti containing racial and religious slurs.
  2. December 7, 2015—Saint Edith Stein Parish, Brockton—A brick was hurled through a 100 year old stained glass window depicting Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Contact the Catholic Action League