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Hawaii Catholic church chapel vandalized on Easter night

April 24, 2019

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — The chapel of a Hawaii Catholic church was vandalized during the night following Easter celebrations, according to a parish priest.

St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Wailuku suffered various types of damage during the night, The Maui News reported Tuesday.

The chapel in western Maui was accidentally left unlocked after Easter Sunday services and the damage was discovered Monday morning, Father Roland Bunda said.

“Somebody came in and thrashed the whole place,” Bunda said. “Just tore the whole thing apart.”

The vandals broke a lamp and a statue of an infant Jesus and dumped out a basin of holy water and replaced it with crystals. They drew a heart with names in lipstick on a wall and on the altar lit a single candle and left a small booklet of prayers open to a section on prayers for the addicted.

“It was like vandalism, but with like a purpose, to send a message,” Bunda said.

The crime is being investigated as a burglary, Maui police said.

The chapel holds about 40 people and hosts a different prayer group every night of the week.

The church was also vandalized more than three weeks ago when there was a break-in at the rectory where priests and brothers live.

It is not clear whether the incidents are related, Bunda said.

Bunda may outfit the chapel with security cameras. The church’s school, rectory and cafeteria already have an alarm system.

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Information from: The Maui News, http://www.mauinews.com

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