Man arrested for burglary and vandalization of property at Washington Catholic school

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“But something was missing,” Thomasian reflected. When mother and neighbor Maria Jones suggested the school find a statue of their patron saint, St Anthony of Padua, the search for the perfect statue began.

Quality religious statues are expensive and often difficult to find, but a local pastor, Monsignor Charles Pope of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian gifted the school at just the right time.

“I got a message from [Msgr. Pope] that he had a wonderful statue that only needed repairing by hand,” Thomasian recalled. “Unnecessary [to say], we found the money to repair the hand and transport St. Anthony to his new home. The children and I planted flowers and our pastor, Fr. Fred, blessed our patron.”

“An Army” of support

While the attacks on the St. Anthony statue and the rest of the school’s property were a major blow to the school, Thomasian says “there has been an army” of support and love from the surrounding community.

Raquel Terry, a teacher and parent of two students, started a Go Fund Me page to raise funds for repairs and replacements after the vandalism. To date, supporters have donated more than $32,000, beating the goal.

Thomasian says the attacks have helped the school, church and neighborhood family come together. “We have been reminded of our identity and our mission and we recommit ourselves to work,” Thomasian said, adding, “Our theme is, ‘Look back with gratitude, look forward with joy!'”

In the meantime, the school has cleaned up the grounds and prepared for the start of St. Anthony’s 100th school year, which begins August 29.

“We are very excited. Many schools in the city are closed, but we’re still open. We’re full and we’re thriving,” Thomasian added.

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