Monday, January 08, 2007

Even the Sanctuary Is Not Safe

Okay, this is really disturbing: a man walks into a church on Friday night and sets fire to the Christmas tree and Nativity scene. At least he gave the choir, who were rehearsing, warning to get out.

St. Cornelius is across the street from the Civic Center, in the flatlands of Richmond, CA. Most of the parishioners are low income; many are Hispanic. It's located in a tough neighborhood--parents or grandparents often walk their children to school, crossing several busy streets.

The Catholic school is next door to the church and has a gym where my kids played frequently in CYO volleyball and basketball games.

And, oddly, no one mentioned it at the volleyball tournament held at the Catholic School just down the freeway or at Mass on Sunday, where our sanctuary was filled with Christmas trees and a large Nativity scene. The group of parishes clustered around I-80 are fairly close knit and word usually travels quickly when something happens.

I'm glad no one was hurt and that the police were able to capture the man responsible.
Odd that he would wait until almost Epiphany to attack--a couple of days and the trees and Nativity would have been gone. Most of the damage seems to be smoke and water damage, rather than structural. Still, it's going to require some clean-up.

Please keep the parish in your prayers.

(H/T: See-Dubya at Michelle Malkin's website)