Statues that are part of the Stations of the Cross monument at St. Isidore Catholic Church in Yuba City were vandalized recently, causing thousands of dollars in damages.
Church officials say the vandalism occurred sometime between Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.
“This morning, a couple parishioners noticed two statutes had been broken off. They looked around and found a crowbar, so we contacted the police and let them know about the vandalism,” said Rodolfo Quijano, bookkeeper for the church, on Thursday morning. “Unfortunately, this has happened in the past.”
The Stations of the Cross monument, placed on church grounds about a decade ago, includes 14 stations depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion, from judgement to entombment. At station five, the cross Christ was carrying was broken off. At station 12, the part of the statue where Christ is nailed to the cross was removed and taken.
Quijano said all Catholic churches have a depiction of the Stations of the Cross, in one form or another. Each station at St. Isidore Catholic Church is sponsored by former or current members of the church. While the statues are there for church members to reflect on throughout the year, it’s an annual tradition around Easter for members to visit each station and pray.
“This is an important place for people to come to and find peace to connect with God,” he said. “The Stations of the Cross allow them for a moment to reflect on the gift that God has given us, which is an opportunity for a better life. So, when people come to pray and they see people are vandalizing what we hold dear to our heart, which was the crucifixion of Jesus for our sins, it hurts to see something like that.”
Quijano said he has been with the church for five years and has seen acts of vandalism on two other occasions, though the most recent incident was the most significant to him. He estimates the costs to repair the statues to be approximately $4,000.
“It’s like someone is coming in to vandalize my home; people treat this place as their home of safety and their place to meet God. It hurts,” he said. “We ask that the community keep an eye out for the statue and to protect one another. To those that did this, please stop doing that. These statues have an important value to people and it costs money to replace them.”