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Chapel Vandalism Reported


Published: Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2011 16:12

 In an alleged act of late-night vandalism this past weekend, the crucifix on the main altar of the St. Joseph Memorial Chapel was torn down. The crucifix, approximately six feet tall and made of gold and silver, has been a prominent feature of the chapel since the sacred building opened in 1924.

   "An incident as this shocks the conscience of our community," according to Chief Robert W. Hart, the Director of Public Safety at Holy Cross. "Public Safety continues to investigate this disturbing event in the Chapel," he said. "We have collected some physical evidence, which we hope in conjunction with the information we are gathering, assists us in finding out exactly what happened," he added.

    According to other sources familiar with the situation, this incident marks the second attempted destructive act within the worship space as of late. On another recent weekend, intoxicated students were purportedly apprehended in the St. Joseph Memorial Chapel while attempting to gain access to the choir loft. As a result of this newest incident this past weekend, the figure of Christ was removed from the altar's main crucifix, and both the cross and the statue of Jesus have sustained damages.

   During this week alone, the Chapel will host two major College events: the 34th annual Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols on Dec. 8 and Fr. McFarland's last weekend mass at Holy Cross on Dec. 11. As of publication, the damaged crucifix is not publicly displayed, and its former space remains vacant.

    Nevertheless, Chief Hart insisted that "while at first this may seem a horrendous act of desecration, there is certainly the possibility that this was an unfortunate accident." He encourages anyone with information, especially the person or potential group of people involved, to "please reach out to an Officer anytime day or night, or stop by Public Safety and speak to one of us in confidence."

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