Jesus statue defaced in Manorville

Posted: Updated:
MANORVILLE -

One month into Lent, vandals smashed the face of the statue of Jesus at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Island in Manorville.

It happened between Saturday night and Sunday morning, the shrine's director says, and the damage will cost thousands of dollars to repair. Worshippers say they hope to see the Fiberglas statue fixed in time for Easter, which is April 1, but officials say it's unlikely.

The Rev. Roy Tvrdik says he realizes multiple statues on the 70-acre property are vulnerable because it's not locked at night. And he has a message for whoever is responsible.

"Come and talk, if you want to talk about your issues with God or with the church," he says. "We've been praying. We've even been praying for the perpetrator, that hopefully he will convert and change his ways in life."

Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call Suffolk Crime Stoppers at 1-800-22-TIPS. The Hate Crimes Unit is handling the investigation.

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