ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque church in the North Valley is cleaning up this Valentine’s Day after its decades-old stained glass windows were vandalized. “We had serious vandalism here in our stunning Shrine of Little Flower here at St. Therese Parish and School,” said Rev. Vicent Paul Chavez.
He said around 2 a.m. Monday, four of the churches’ stained glass windows, built-in France in 1954, were broken. “By a person a little one of God, a homeless person off the streets most likely with behavioral health issues,” said Rev. Chavez.
Pieces of the colored glass were gone, trash was around the building, and there was damage to some roofing times. It’s a scene Rev. Chavez is tired of seeing. “This has happened in the past. Other beautiful churches downtown have been vandalized and we have a serious behavioral health crisis here in New Mexico,” said Rev. Chavez. “Daily, we deal with assaults here to ourselves and to our property.”
He said it will be a long process to replace the windows and in the meantime, the church is fundraising to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “We’re going to have a $126,000 project to protect the outside of the 36 artistic windows here in our magnificent homes,” he said. In a news release, the church said that could include scaffolding and protective vented covers.
“We have lots of challenges here in our community,” said Rev. Chavez. “To seek the wellbeing of our city, it’s so important to pray for our city and to actively seek the well-being of our community.” He said the suspected vandal was arrested.