The shrine to Divine Mercy at St. Peter Parish in Kenosha was vandalized and defaced during the 7 p.m. Mass on Sunday, Nov. 20. (Submitted photo)
A brazen act of vandalism in Kenosha has left a shrine to Divine Mercy defaced.
The shrine, located at St. Peter Parish, 2224 30th Ave., was intact and untouched before 7 p.m. Mass at the church on the evening of Sunday, Nov. 20, said Dcn. Terrance Maack, who serves as the parish’s permanent deacon and administrative assistant.
When Mass let out at 8 p.m., said Dcn. Maack, a parishioner reported discovering the words “ANKH E EM MAAT” covering the image of Christ in green spray paint.
“It’s Egyptian — ‘maat’ means goddess, and it’s something about the light and the truth,” explained Dcn. Maack.
The shrine was donated in memory of Lorraine and Charlie Vignieri, and has been at the church for about four years.
The parish has had its insurance company out to the site to assess the damage, said Dcn. Maack, and hopes are high that the paint will be able to be removed without damage to the image.
“We’re looking for a company that can professionally clean the paint off. The base is marble so the paint isn’t going to adhere to that well, and the Divine Mercy (image) is glazed tiles. I don’t want to scrape it, so they’re going to see what kind of solution they can put on there. It’s cold enough that it probably didn’t adhere like it would if it was warm out.”
A police report has been filed, but because of the absence of cameras, Dcn. Maack said they are not optimistic about bringing the vandal to face charges.
“If we had cameras, it would be a little easier for them, but unless they find somebody nearby (who saw something, it will be difficult),” he said. “They had to be brazen to do it during Mass. That’s just showing they were doing it out of disrespect.”
People have been calling and asking how they can help the parish after the vandalism, and Dcn. Maack said he has been urging everyone to pray for the vandals.
“They did it on the Divine Mercy monument, so you know the Divine Mercy is going to come to them no matter what,” he said. “Just pray for the people (who) did it.”