ROYAL OAK, Mich. – A community is coming together in prayer after a man broke into a Royal Oak church last week, causing damage -- particularly to an old religious statue.
On a snowy Sunday morning in Royal Oak, members of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church gathered in prayer for the 30-year-old man who was caught vandalizing the church and its beloved Virgin Mary statue.
“We really hope this person finds peace and their soul finds protection and healing,” said Father Paul Snyder.
The 5 foot 6 inch Virgin Mary statue was built in 1930 and displayed in the front entrance of the church.
“We really miss it,” Synder said. “It was such a beautiful presence, and feeling of protection to have it here.”
On March 8, someone walking by noticed shattered glass windows on the ground at the church and called police. The man accused of breaking in did so shortly after Father Snyder locked the doors.
Snyder emailed the congregation the next day, saying security cameras had recorded a man destroying the antique statue, and that the footage was turned over to the police.
The man, identified as Sung Won Lee, has been arrested and charged with breaking and entering, and with malicious destruction of property. He’s being held on a $25,000 bond.
Watch the full report in the video player above.