St. Bernadette Parishioners Pray for Crucifix Vandal
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
July 16, 2020
ROCKFORD—Between July 5 and 6, someone vandalized a crucifix at St. Bernadette Parish in Rockford.
The little roadside shrine is located near the corner of Rockton and Bell avenues, facing the west side Mercy Health Hospital. 
The shrine is located about 20 feet from a bus stop, and the parish has both a bus stop bench with a Christian message on it and a book box with small Bibles nearby.
Parish staff member Kevin Rilott had recently restained the wood of the shrine, which has been in place on the parish campus for about five years. 
He says he could tell from marks on the wood that the corpus statue was destroyed by a hammer. 
He speculates that perhaps the vandal wanted to do something in imitation of the destruction perpetrated the past several weeks against statues, including religious statues, around the country.
A photo of the destruction was sent around to parishioners via Flocknotes with a request for prayers for the perpetrator. 
The parish did not file a police report.
“We are not angry about it,” Rilott says, “but just sad that the (perpetrator) has a misconception of who Jesus is (and that) Jesus loves them.”
Although donations were not requested, parishioners did send money and the corpus has already been replaced.
“We trust in prayer,” Rilott says. “One parishioner said, ‘Well, I hope one day this person joins our parish!’ ”
If it happens again, he adds, the parish just may put a small sign at the shrine with words to that effect.
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