Newly Restored Catholic Cemetery in Michigan Vandalized
The recently renovated and restored Pioneer Catholic Cemetery in Marquette, Michigan, was vandalized over the weekend.
Black spray paint was used to deface a monument and fourteen Stations of the Cross.
“John Fee, communications director for the Diocese of Marquette, said the damage was reported to the Marquette City Police Department on Tuesday and likely happened a day or two before,” the Mining Journal reports.
“We’re saddened to see such disrespect shown to those buried there and their families,” Fee said in a statement. “We plan to clean up the damage as soon as possible.”
The monument that was defaced is engraved with the Pieta, a Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo of the Virgin Mary supporting the body of Jesus Christ. The Stations of the Cross were just installed in October.
“This inexcusable act was committed in a sacred place where we honor and remember the lives of our early Marquette community members, immigrants and families,” Neil Newcomb, cemeteries director for the Diocese of Marquette, told the Mining Journal. “We have been very grateful for the many expressions of support and offers of help from the community regarding this egregious vandalism.”
“We have set up a Facebook site, Pioneer Catholic Cemetery, so the community can get updates and track progress on the restoration and cleaning.”
The cemetery had been restored earlier this year for members of the public to use as a space for reflection, but no cameras were installed.
Members of the public who may have information on the vandalism are being asked to call the Marquette City Police Department at 906-228-0400.