A special rosary and Mass of reparation will be held Friday, Sept. 23 at Our Lady of the Angels Church in Sauk Centre after a vandalism incident the previous weekend that resulted in significant damage.
“I will be leading a 6:30 a.m. rosary praying for mercy on those who vandalized the church,” said Father Greg Paffel, pastor of the churches in the Parishes on the Prairie Area Catholic Community, which includes Our Lady of the Angels. “And at 7 a.m., we will have a Mass of reparation for desecration of [the church].”
On Saturday afternoon, Sept. 17, the parish sacristan entered the church to prepare for an event, discovered the damage and called police.
According to a press release from the Sauk Centre Police Department, the responding officer found extensive damage to the inside of the church entrance area and sanctuary, including the tipping over of a statue, urinating on the carpet, and damage to candleholders and other items. The officer reviewed video surveillance from the church that showed two males entering the church and leaving carrying a candleholder.
“Things were already picked up by the time I got there,” said Father Jeremy Theis, parochial vicar. “And to be honest, it could have been a lot worse.”
The tipped-over statue referred to in the press release was a four-foot-tall angel that holds a holy water font. It had been thrown to the ground and the font had broken off, Father Theis said. The candleholder the two men appeared to leave with was the sanctuary lamp.
Father Theis said that the damaged statue and candleholders can be repaired and the other items replaced.
“I think we should always be praying for people that find themselves doing these sorts of things,” Father Theis said. “Pray for them that whatever wound was there, or whatever was going on in their mind, that that’s healed.”
The two suspects, identified as Corey Allen Drouillard, age 28 of Sauk Centre, and Cheyenne Marcus Budreau, age 19, of Cass Lake, Minnesota, were arrested and booked in Stearns County Jail on charges of burglary and criminal damage to property.
Photo by Cathy Behrens courtesy of ParishesOnThePrairie.com