Mary Help of Christians Vandalized

Mary Help of Christians A tabernacle above the side altar was vandalized.

Vandals broke into Mary Help of Christians over the weekend, though the church’s precious relics had been moved out earlier in the week.

“There was vandalism at the church, but we don’t know exactly what happened,” said a secretary speaking on behalf of John Matcovich, parish manager at Immaculate Conception. “There was nothing major stolen. We don’t know anything more than that.”

Mr. Matcovich confirmed that the marble around the main tabernacle was smashed, a smaller tabernacle above the side altar was also damaged, and a hole was punched through the wall in the sacristy, a room where sacred vessels and vestments are normally stored. A church tabernacle is a fixed box where the Eucharist is kept.

Mary Help of Christians parishioners The “Hunt Room” at Immaculate Conception.

A parishioner who did not want to be named said the vandalism may have happened between Sunday morning – when, according to another parishioner who was inside of the church, everything looked fine – and early this morning. An alarm was not set during that time, according to the source.

The Local reported on Friday that the church is being sold by the archdiocese for $41 million to 181 Avenue A LLC. Evidence points to developer Douglas Steiner as the potential buyer.

Mary Help of Christians

Yesterday, as expected, about 55 parishioners from Mary Help of Christians celebrated their first Spanish-language mass in the rectory of Immaculate Conception.

Photos of the “Hunt Room,” where parishioners will congregate while a basement chapel is built, show a space that is considerably less grand than the 101-year-old church, modeled after the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, Italy.