Friday, March 21, 2008

Gardner Churches vandalized during Holy Week...

This calls for prayer. A satanic upside-down cross was spray painted on one Church and another was spray painted with words of a blasphemous reference to Christ. According to Gardner Police, the Bethany Baptist Church on Ryan Street, the Holy Spirit Church on Lovewell Street, and the United Methodist Church on Chestnut Street were spray painted with anti-Christian comments.

Police are asking that anyone who has information on the acts of vandalism call Lt. Poirier [Gardner Police] at (978) 632-5600, ext. 148, and Templeton and Phillipston police at (978) 939-5638.


Ellen Wironken said...

Paul, that's terrible. The persecution is beginning to step up I think. Hate crimes such as this one are multiplying. Our society is growing increasingly hostile toward Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. There are those who want to marginalize us and put us into ghettos [if only rhetorically] as the Nazis did with the Jewish People. And so they label us "Theocrats," "Catholic Right," and the "Religious Right."

This is precisely what SBC Watch is doing. It is what Peter Majoy is doing.

Stewart said...

Such a demonic manifestation only serves to highlight the fact that the darkness of sin and apostasy are spreading everywhere. The police are suggesting that this is the work of one person only. But is this really the case? Seven churches in Gardner and Phillipston? Seems more like the work of a few. How could one person vandalize so many churches in one evening without anyone noticing what was going on? This is extremely disturbing.

Anonymous said...

It's getting really strange out there. I see more hatred and rage wherever I go. Road rage, short fuses at the food store etc.

I would carry blessed salt everywhere at this point. Bless and do not respond in any way to the craziness. Rely on prayer.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Anonymous, things are getting strange as you put it. Not long ago, I arrived early at a local parish to prepare to celebrate Holy Mass (as is my custom) and was sitting alone in a Church which probably seats approximately 800 people. I was sitting in the very last pew.

While praying the Rosary, a man in his fifties walked into the Church, approached where I was sitting, and told me to move since I was sitting in "his" place. Before I could begin to respond, he struck me with his cane and once more demanded that I move.

I apologized for taking "his" place in Church and promptly moved to the other side of the pew.

Where there is no authentic prayer life, there is no peace. I pray for that man whenever I think of that episode. How unhappy he must be. Perhaps starved for attention and/or affection.

We must strive to see Jesus in everyone we encounter. Sometimes this can be very difficult. But then, no one ever said the Way was easy. But with Jesus, the burden is made light.

Please remember, there are so many hurting people "out there." Many are alone. They have no friends. No one to identify with them. No one to pray for them.

It is all too easy to return hatred for hatred. But we must not lose sight of the fact that the measure we use for others will be meted back to us. If we show mercy, Jesus will show us mercy.

Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Elizabeth said...

What a horrible sacrilege Paul. Our prayer group is praying that the culprit/s are caught and that he/they will repent of this heinous hate crime.

Dale said...

I wonder how seriously Gardner's Mayor - Mark Hawke - will treat this problem. I left a comment at his Blog but didn't see it published. I urged him in this comment to create a task force to address this hate crime.

We'll see if nothing happens. As usual.

Anonymous said...


The comment did post on my blog and I will be meeting with the Police to see where they stand on this investigation. I have been in office for 76 days and have treated every situation seriously and with the utmost sincerity. This matter will be no different. Thank you for your comments and suggestion of a task force.

Mark Hawke

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Mayor Hawke, thank you for your comment. It is good to hear that this whole unfortunate matter is receiving the attention it deserves. I believe Dale's idea of a task force is interesting. I'm sure my readers would appreciate hearing more on this in the future should such become a reality.

Thank you all for your comments.

Elizabeth said...

I understand your frustration Dale, I really do. But Mr. Hawke is new to the job. Let's give him some time to settle into his mayoral duties and pray that he will take positive steps to ensure that hate crimes such as this one are handled promptly and decisively. I too like the idea of a task force being commissioned. Let's all pray that this idea will be acted on.

Anonymous said...


The individual(s) responsible for this terrible act have been identified and one person is in custody. You can read about it at .

The Gardner Police Department should be commended for such a quick, thorough and well done investigation. Thank you GPD.

Mark Hawke

Anonymous said...


The individual(s) responsible for this terrible act have been identified and one person is in now custody. It is reported on if you would like to read about it.

The Gardner Police Department should be commended for such a quick, thorough and well done investigation and arrest. Thank you GPD.

Mark Hawke

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