The vandals poured red paint over Precious Blood Parish’s statue of the Virgin Mary on Monday night. (Submitted)

The vandals poured red paint over Precious Blood Parish’s statue of the Virgin Mary on Monday night. (Submitted)

Precious Blood Parish victim to ‘bloody’ vandalism attacks

Fake blood poured on statues of Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary

The latest in a string of acts of vandalism has the parishioners of Cloverdale’s Precious Blood Parish worried.

Last Monday night (Nov. 20), vandals poured fake blood over the statues of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary outside of the parish, splashed fake blood on an exterior wall of the parish hall, and drew a pentagram in fake blood on the concrete in front of the church.

“It’s very disturbing,” said Rosana Ruiz, an administrative assistant at Precious Blood Parish. “And it’s scary for the kids.”

It isn’t the first time that Precious Blood Parish has been the victim of vandalism, but they’ve “never had anything like fake blood before,” according to Ruiz.

Two days later, traces of the fake blood were still visible. It didn’t quite wash off of the parish wall, and drops of blood could still be seen on the statues.

“Why would they do that?” asked Ruiz. “It’s not like we worship those statues, but they are remembrances. It’s like having pictures of your family defaced.”

It was more upsetting that it happened at night, said Ruiz, as the first people that arrive on the parish grounds in the morning are the children who attend the morning day care program.

“The kids saw this. There was a kid that picked up the container of the fake blood that was just left there.”

In a statement emailed to the Cloverdale Reporter, the Archbishop of Vancouver J. Michael Miller said, “I’m very saddened by the vandalism that took place at Precious Blood Parish this week. The parish and school have an exceptional relationship with the neighbourhood, including our friends of other faiths and churches. An incident like this harms the entire community.

“I ask for prayers for the individuals reponsible,” the statement read, “that they may realize God’s love for them and his desire for harmony among all people.”

Ruiz called the Surrey RCMP, as they have a “growing file” on the vandalism at the parish, she said.

“When I reported yesterday’s incident, [Surrey RCMP] said they wouldn’t even come out, because it was mischief.”

The container of fake blood was not retrieved as evidence, as it was in the elements and anyone could have picked it up. she said.

“They can’t do anything with it,” said Ruiz. “That’s what they told me.”

In an emailed statement to the Cloverdale Reporter, Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schuman said, “There has only been one previous incident reported to us by the church regarding vandalism.”

“Our Community Response Unit is waiting to hear back from church representatives and has planned to meet them to see what steps if any can be taken to prevent this mischief in the future,” he wrote.

The vandalism incident follows a break in that occurred in late August. The Cloverdale Catholic School, which is located on the parish grounds, was broken into, and the exterior walls of the parish vandalized with black paint.

Ruiz said that the church has had problems with local youth lately, with increased “acts of mischief.”

Mostly, she said she was concerned about the effect it was having on the children in the church community. Not only for the children attending Cloverdale Catholic School, which has students from kindergarten to grade 7, but the several community groups for youth that meet at the church, and the morning and after-school day care program.

Karla Erickson, catechism coordinator for Precious Blood Parish, said that teenagers have recently been coming by at night and banging on the windows where the catechism school is in session, scaring the children inside of the building.

“Nobody wants to scare children, that’s crazy,” said Erickson. “But if you do [bang on the windows] at night to a Grade One-r, they’re all screaming.”

Erickson is concerned about possible escalation. “My concern is, what if one of them gets brave and throws a rock?”

Erickson said she wants to share the story of what’s happening at Precious Blood Parish to let other people in the Cloverdale community become aware of the problem, as she’s concerned that others are being vandalized and haven’t come forward.

“We’re one community, and we’re one church in that community. Why they’re choosing the church, I don’t know if that’s significant.”

Precious Blood Parish has been Cloverdale’s only Catholic church since it was established in 1947. It’s located on 59th Avenue in Cloverdale, close by to neighbouring Cloverdale United Church on Highway 15.

Regardless of faith, Erickson said, “Can you imagine the little kids seeing a statue of Jesus with blood all over it? It’s going to freak them out,” she said.

It is the first time in Ruiz’s memory that the church has had incidents so close together.

“It’s been happening a little too often,” she said. “We have had incidences in the past, but always isolated. Not rampant, one after the other.”

Surrey RCMP had not responded to a request for comment by the Cloverdale Reporter’s press deadline.

churchCloverdaleSurreyBC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Precious Blood Parish’s statue of Jesus Christ was also vandalized on Monday night. (Submitted)

Precious Blood Parish’s statue of Jesus Christ was also vandalized on Monday night. (Submitted)

The paint was also splashed onto the walls of the parish. (Submitted)

The paint was also splashed onto the walls of the parish. (Submitted)

Just Posted

Tanvi Pandhi, a Grade 12 student at Fleetwood Park Secondary, took part in the Surrey school district’s survey of students in grades 10 to 12, with a focus on health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey students voice concerns about mask wearing, distancing in schools

Surrey school district has been surveying students in grades 10 to 12

Cambridge Elementary School music teacher Darlene Lourenco is “on the mend” after contracting COVID-19. She had a two-week stay at Surrey Memorial Hospital, including in the ICU. (Photo: submitted)
Surrey music teacher at home after two-week hospital stay battling COVID-19

Meantime, Surrey Teachers’ Association sends letter with safety demands to board of education

Keir Macdonald, CEO of Phoenix Drug and Alcohol Recovery Education Society, with the “first of its kind” Adult Residential Substance Use and Supportive Recovery Facility Homelessness Count. It was done around the time of the Metro Vancouver Homeless Count (March 3 to 4, 2020) to complement the count. (Photo: Amy Reid)
Surrey homeless, recovery counts show need for long-term solutions

This was the first time recovery, substance use facilities were included in the count

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Hail to the chief – an in-depth interview with Surrey Police Service’s first boss

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski will assume his historic new role on Dec. 14

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Newton Elementary School in Surrey, according to an information bulletin Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Image: Google Street View)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at second Surrey elementary school

Newton Elementary closed for two weeks, set to reopen Dec. 14

(Photo: Amy Reid)
VIDEO: 2020 Community Leader Awards recognize Surrey’s unsung heroes

They don’t often receive recognition and don’t necessarily have a high profile in the community

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Most Read