FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 16, 2024
The Diocese of Brooklyn is announcing a blatant act of vandalism which occurred last Friday night, February 9, 2024, at St. Rita’s Church in Long Island City, Queens.
At about 8:45 p.m. the pastor, Father Jose Carlos da Silva, who was in the rectory, heard something smash in the church. Father da Silva saw a man in front of the chapel, who ran away after he called out to him from a window. There was a prayer group meeting inside the church at the time. No one was injured.
A stained-glass window was broken. A construction cone was thrown at a statue of the Blessed Mother which stands in front of the window. There was no damage to that statue.
“It was very disturbing and unsettling to hear breaking glass as a prayer group was gathered in the church. Luckily, no one was injured, and the suspect did not try to come in. I believe the orange construction cone that was thrown was intended to hit the Blessed Mother statue, but the vandal missed. Instead, it hit one of our original stained-glass windows behind it. This is a hate crime against the Catholic Church, and the perpetrator must understand that he has caused pain for the entire parish community of St. Rita’s,” said Father Jose Carlos da Silva, the parish pastor.
The cost of the damage to the 60-year-old-stained glass window is estimated at $10,000. The window was broken on the 11th street side of the church near the rectory entrance. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
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