Statement on the vandalism at St. François Xavier Church

It was painful to hear about the acts of vandalism perpetrated in one of our parishes this past weekend. The Headingley RCMP received reports on May 26, 2019 at approximately 8:00 am of a break and enter and mischief at St. François Xavier Church. Century-old statues were destroyed and scattered on the floor, and a fire extinguisher was discharged throughout the worship space. I can only imagine the great distress that parishioners must have felt upon entering the church on Sunday morning, expecting to take part in a celebration of the Holy Eucharist and instead finding a scene of destruction. Let us keep the entire parish community of St. François Xavier in our thoughts and prayers.

I ask that the following petition be included in Mass on June 2, 2019:

“For members of St. François Xavier Parish, having experienced great distress due to the vandalism of their church, that the Lord Jesus Christ may bring peace in the midst of the destruction, and that the community may grow closer together through faith and hope. We pray to the Lord.”

- Most Reverend Richard Gagnon, Archbishop of Winnipeg