Offer to Fix Vandalized Statue for Free

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HONESDALE -- St. John the Evangelist Church's statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been temporarily fixed for now after being vandalized last weekend.

A sculptor in Hazleton saw the desecrated statue while watching a story on Newswatch 16 and plans to fix it up for free.

Up close, the cracks are still clearly visible on the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Vandals be-headed the statue that stands outside of the Wayne County church.

Parishioner Margaret Hnatko says she was extremely upset to hear about the destruction

"I was very, very sad and a little bit angry because I count a lot on the Blessed Virgin and that`s her statue and I just felt so bad that people have to take, to do things like that to religious articles," said Hnatko.

"It`s very upsetting, it was very sad that somebody would do that," said Dorothy Russell.

After Newswatch 16 reported the vandalism, sculptor Salvador DeFazio of Hazleton came forward and called the church and says he plans to repair the statue for free.

The sculptor from Hazleton says he plans to begin repairing the statue of the Blessed Mother as soon as possible here at St. Johns, and that`s something parishioners are extremely thankful for.

"It certainly does it makes me think that there are an awful lot of good people around still," said Hnatko.

DeFazio will clean up the cracks as soon as the weather warms up a bit - and says he would like to get the work done fast, since May is a month where Mary is honored in the Catholic Church. Some say it's an answer to their prayers.

"It very well could be," said parishioner Charles Peter.

"I think that`s wonderful I really do," said Russell.

Investigators are still looking into who did this and if any suspects were possibly caught on nearby security cameras.

But Catholics in Honesdale say they'll be keeping those responsible in their prayers.

"You feel bad for them but we got to pray very hard for each other, and help each other as best as we can," said parishioner Anna Grady.

Police in Honesdale are still asking anyone with information on who may have vandalized the statue to give them a call.