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Vandals strike Denver parish, destroying nativity scene

Statues of Mary, Joseph and Jesus smashed
Posted at 3:40 PM, Dec 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-28 20:56:35-05

DENVER — Police are investigating a case of criminal mischief at St. Joseph's Polish Catholic Church in Globeville.

Sometime during the night, a vandal or vandals desecrated the nativity scene, which had been set up in front of the parish school.

"I thought it was garbage," said Fr. Stanislaw Michalek, the parish priest. "And then I came closer and couldn't believe it."

What he initially thought was refuse, turned out to be the smashed remains of the nativity scene figurines.

"We were shocked," said Marie Oletski, a parishioner who attended the Friday morning mass. "I can't understand why people do stuff like that."

Oletski said she'd like to see the perpetrator(s) come to the church and explain why they did it.

Fr. Michalek said the nativity scene is usually set up in front of the rectory but was set up in front of the school because it was to include live animals for a couple of celebrations.

Michalek told Denver7 that there appears to have been some anger behind the desecration because there was also damage to the front doors of the schools.

"Look at this," he said, "yes, that was very angry."

When asked what he would tell the perpetrators, Fr. Michalek replied, "I would just tell him...maybe you don't know, but God loves you."

Fr. Michalek said they plan to replace the figurines.

Anyone with information about the vandalism and who is responsible is asked to contact Denver Police or Crimestoppers.