March 24, 2019

Friends,

We had a recent “incident” at Most Precious Blood and Saint Anne Church. I hesitate to bring it to yout attention because the story can get blown out of proportion and become the subject of rumors that can lead to distortion and fear. At the same time we do pride ourselves on transparency and sharing what takes place within the Church and the Collaborative with all those who are invested as parishioners.

On the weekend of March 10 we noticed a red dye that was sprayed into the snow along the Oak Street side of Most Precious Blood and around the statue of Mary, as well. We also became aware of similar red dye in front of St. Anne Church but also sprayed on the statue of Mary and the bench given in memory of George Lang. This defacing was reported the next day as well. I went to the Hyde Park police station and made out a report for both incidences. Two detectives from the Civil Rights Unit came and interviewed me during the week. There were no specific words or demeaning language in any of the “graffiti”. We also contacted City Councilor Tim McCarthy. He and his aide, Stephen Maguire, came by and did their best to clean the statue and the bench, as did some of our parishioners. Councilor McCarthy also brought in the “Graffiti Busters” from the City of Boston. Unfortunately, after the cleaning, the destruction was repeated again on Wednesday, March 13. We, once again, left a message for the detectives and with the City of Boston.

I am writing these words on Friday, March 15, with the hope that whoever perpetrated this crime will either be caught or has a change of heart. We are all aware that there are many troubled people in our world who may have emotional issues that can be exacerbated by fanatic religious or political beliefs. Left to their own devices, they can decide to take matters into their own hands and then become capable of outrageous actions. Many times it can lead to destructive behavior (such as this) or even self destructive behavior.

I hope by the time you read this account on Sunday, March 23-24, that the matter will be solved. We are appreciative of the City of Boston and the Boston Police for their attention and response.

Being religious people, who respect the spiritual side of our world, it can be very disturbing and disheartening to witness disrespect for those values. Being compassionate people, we realize that this behavior is indicative of deeper problems within those responsible.

There is so much pride in the Hyde Park / Readville community that is built on generations of families who have chosen to call this neighborhood their home. The Catholic Church has played, and continues to have, a strong influence on the lives of our residents.

We pray that our faith in God and love for the Church will be a source of inspiration to all, and be respected by those who may believe differently.

Thank you,
Father Coyne

 

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