Vandals deface statue in front of chapel dedicated to celebrating traditional Latin Mass

A small Santa Clara chapel dedicated to offering the traditional Latin Mass was the target of vandals over the weekend.

Sometime between Friday evening, March 23, and Sunday morning, March 25, vandals defaced a statue of Madonna and Child in front of the Oratory of Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel, 1298 Homestead Road, in Santa Clara. 

The vandals applied “an unknown substance” to the faces of both Madonna and Child, according to a report from a parishioner. The incident was reported to the Santa Clara Police Department.

“When I arrived Sunday morning several parishioners were gathered around the statue discussing and taking pictures,” said one witness in an email to California Catholic Daily. “We are not sure what was applied but it was most likely spray painted.”

Since 2007, when San Jose Bishop Patrick McGrath designated the oratory chapel as an approved location for “the celebration of the Mass in Latin according to the Missal of 1962,” priests approved by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest have been offering the Latin Mass there.

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is a religious order specifically dedicated to the celebration of the traditional Mass.

Currently, Extraordinary Rite Masses are offered at the Oratory chapel on Sundays at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 5:30 p.m. The schedule for weekday Masses varies.

The vandalism at the Oratory of Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel marks the latest in a string of crimes directed at Catholic institutions in California dating back several years. On Ash Wednesday, vandals desecrated St. Anne Catholic Church in Union City, destroying a cross, defacing statues and spray painting satanic symbols on church walls.

In November 2011, vandals knocked over monuments and headstones at Rohnerville Catholic Cemetery, where they scattered mutilated animal parts across the cemetery grounds.

In April 2011, someone used black paint to spray crude slogans on either side of the entrance to St. Barbara’s Parish at historic Mission Santa Barbara. A week earlier, a fire that investigators said was deliberately set destroyed St. John Vianney Church in Hacienda Heights. The fire, which began shortly after midnight on a Saturday, left only a burned out shell where the 5000-member parish’s sanctuary once stood. Various press reports said the blaze caused an estimated $8 million to $10 million in damages.

In January 2011, a vandal spray-painted the words “Kill the Cathlics” on the walls of St. Boniface Catholic Church in Anaheim and St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Irvine.

Beginning in December 2010, Holy Family Catholic Church in Glendale was forced to tighten security measures after a thief repeatedly broke into collection boxes used by parishioners to donate money to the needy.

In November 2010, Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Woodland was victimized by criminals for the fourth time since 2007. Thieves broke into the parish office and stole more than $2000. Just days before Christmas 2009, vandals knocked over and smashed into pieces a 60-year-old statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary dedicated to the memory of veterans outside Holy Rosary. Vandals also entered the church sometime during the same time period and desecrated a Nativity scene. A week earlier, someone entered the church and pushed over a statue of St. Joseph, cracking the base of the statue.

In October 2010, someone burglarized the rectory at St. Stanislaus Church in Modesto. The thief or thieves stole a computer sometime over the weekend of Oct. 16-17. In late August of 2010, vandals broke into and vandalized St. Stanislaus, breaking a window to gain entrance. The vandal or vandals knocked down four statutes of the Blessed Virgin and desecrated the sanctuary. Among the damaged statues was one from Belgium that was more than 200 years old and is considered irreplaceable.

In late May 2010, vandals broke into and ransacked St. Rose of Lima parish school in Maywood. They scrawled “666” on walls and drove a knife into the face of a painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Maywood-Cudahy Police Department reported. “Further investigation revealed that some of the vandalism was of a heinous nature, and in fact, consistent with a ‘hate crime,’” said the police statement. “The suspect(s) defecated in the auditorium (adjacent to the kitchen area) and wrote ‘666’ on areas of the kitchen, and a cross was displayed in a sacrilegious manner,” police said.

In April 2009, just hours before Easter services were to commence, a vandal or vandals decapitated a statue of the Blessed Virgin outside Santa Monica Catholic Church in Santa Monica. In early January of 2009, vandals spray-painted swastikas and the message “Niederauer, Ratzinger – where is the love” on the front walls of Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in San Francisco.

In late October of 2008, a ciborium containing consecrated hosts was removed from a locked tabernacle and stolen during a burglary at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Watsonville. The thieves also stole a safe that had been bolted to the floor containing $44,400 in cash and checks.


Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 1:10 AM By Thomas Edward Miles
A correction, The Christ the King Institute is not a religious order! There are about five or six religious orders, of which, The Society of Jesus is one, and of course the GREATEST!!

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 2:55 AM By Ski Ven
These guys are amateurs compared to the federal government’s jack-booted thugs.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 5:33 AM By Canisius
No matter who did it, they are enemies of Christ and His Church. What would Torquemada do?

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 5:41 AM By Annasher
Why does it sound like not one of these vandals has been arrested ?

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 8:41 AM By OneoftheSheep
Our Lady of Medjugorje told one of the visionaries(Mirijana) that much of the trouble in our world today is the result of the actions of those who do not believe in God. We are tasked to pray for such people first thing every day that they may convert and come to the knowledge and the peace of Our Savior. Do we want peace? Then, we must pray for the fulfillment of the Virgin of Medjugorje’s plans for our world. Mary, take over!

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 8:44 AM By JMJ
Prayers and more prayers are needed as we are in the darkest of all ages. Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I love you! Please save souls and the lives of all the unborn children. +JMJ+

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 8:54 AM By Louis
Holy Father, please consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, only as She asked at Fatima, asap, to turn our Church and the world around.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 8:57 AM By Lon
Wishing our † Holy father to consecrate Russia to Our Lady before it is too late.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 9:16 AM By Patrick
This is second time the statue has been desecrated. The first time vandals tore the statue from the stand, and police found it several blocks away. Another time somebody hammered on the side of the building and knocked hunks of wood from the siding with an ax or similar instrument. St. Clare’s Church, a couple of blocks away, was set afire a number of years ago by young satanists. Fire was put out by the custodian, and now the church is locked daily instead of being left open.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 9:34 AM By Maryanne Leonard
Yes, Thomas Edward Miles, the Society of Jesus was once an exemplary religious order which held the profound respect of all of us. I know and know of many Jesuits whom I still hold in awe. However, while I am not surprised that you would say what you did about the Jesuits, I am somewhat surprised that you had nothing to say about the shocking, outrageous and heart-wrenching events discussed in the article.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 9:36 AM By Brad
It’s demonic, not merely tomfoolery by punks, whenever the Madonna is defaced. Everyone needs to read Fr. Amorth’s, exorcist of the Diocese of Rome, two volume memoirs.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 10:11 AM By Amadan
Reminds me of what happened to the statue of Our Lady at the Nat’l Shrine of St. Philomena in Miami. The thugs eventually killed the pastor. see Remnant Newspaper 11/20/11

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 10:28 AM By Joshua
Mr. Miles, If one is insisting on using the term “order” strictly, the Jesuits are NOT an order. It was Canon 13 of 4th Lateran (1215) that forbade any new orders. The Franciscans were the last with their own rule (the Dominicans were founded with the Augustinian Rule). The Jesuits are technically Clerics Regulars. Something between a priestly fraternity and canons regular. Hence they have no habit, no distinct liturgy. There is dress is that of regular priests. In current canon law they are an institute of consecrated life. The ICRSS is a Society of Apostolic Life, Pontifical Right. Their rule is modeled on secular canons, and they are considered canons.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 11:36 AM By gk
“Unknown substance.” We know what this substance, this blackness, is.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 12:13 PM By Phillip
It should be noted also about 7 years ago the tabernacle at St. Isidore Church in Danville was stolen containing the Blessed Sacrament. The Church was again broken into and an attempt was made to open the tabernacle.

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 12:33 PM By Thomas Hughes
Thomas Edward Miles was quick to pounce on the good Catholic Institute of Christ the King Soverign Priest, and then take opportunity to raise the tainted flag of the Jesuits as a badge of honor. Do I sense a bitter axe to grind with Orthodoxy and Catholic tradition? I suggest a good book by the great Fr. Buckley ” When Jesuits Were Giants”

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 12:41 PM By Leo
“A small Santa Clara chapel dedicated to offering the traditional Latin Mass was the target of vandals” What’s with the desire by some to separate the EF Mass from the OF Mass? Why couldn’t this chapel have been a Catholic chapel, period?

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 1:15 PM By Anne T.
They can try to destroy the Virgin and the Christ Child’s statues, but they are alive and eternal and will not go away, and neither will the Lord’s Commandments. These people will only destroy themselves if they keep it up without repenting and making restitution.