A copper cross more than 100 years old was vandalized sometime either late Monday or early Tuesday in the South Side Bridgeport neighborhood.
The cross, which sits in front of the rectory of St. Mary of Perpetual Help Parish, in the 1000 block of West 32nd Street, now stands twisted and bent.
"It’s very shocking," the Rev. Donald Craig told the Chicago Tribune. "Crime occurs in every community but this is such a recognizable religious object. It’s very sacred."
The 6-foot tall cross was originally built in 1895 and was perched for more than 100 years on the roof of St. Mary of Perpetual Help High School, Geoff Pautch, parish business manager said. It’s been at the church since the school was torn down 10 years ago.
Pautch said the pastor saw the cross had been vandalized when he went out to grab the morning paper about 7 a.m. Tuesday.
"It looked like someone had taken a hammer or something hard and just beat it," Pautch said, adding that there had been "teenage activity" in the surrounding area overnight, including graffiti and snipped electrical wires at other nearby buildings.
Fortunately for the parish, a parishioner who lives across the street, and also happens to be a metal worker, is going to help repair the cross.
Police continue to investigate.