To the Editor,
Before the 5:30 p.m. mass this past Saturday evening, Jamie McWilliams and I found our statue of the blessed Mother Mary and the infant Jesus face down in the snow on the side of our church. The Blessed Mother had been taken from the prayer garden area next to our church. We were shocked as we lifted the statue up to see the Nazi swastika cut into the forehead of both the infant Jesus and the Blessed Mother Mary.
This defilement of one of our most sacred images has caused much sorrow, anger and questions for the men and women of our faith community. The words of Jesus as He hung on the cross are most appropriate: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Even in our community of Tecumseh we are not immune from the actions of intolerance and hate. We all need to search our souls and minds regarding actions like this that took place at St. Elizabeth over the weekend.
My gut instinct says it was probably young people who did this. Just this past week I had to ask three boys who were skateboarding on our front entrance to church to leave. This has happened over and over at our church.
When I was young I always thought that I would never do anything that would bring shame or embarrassment upon my family. Well, there are some families in our community I’m sure would be ashamed and embarrassed by what some of their young people may have done. The damage done to our sacred image can be repaired, but the disrespect that would cause someone to commit an act of defilement such as this should be a cause for concern for all of us.
Should whoever did this be caught I would suggest that they be sent to the Holocaust Center in Birmingham, Michigan, and meet with an actual survivor of the camps and torture under which the swastika symbol of hatred was used. Then they could write a public letter of apology to our community for their actions of defilement of the sacred image done at St. Elizabeth Church.
May God have mercy on those who would do such a thing.
Deacon Jim Nicholson
St. Elizabeth Church