Stolen statues repaired, returned to Canton church

Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 4:32 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CANTON, New York (WWNY) - A Canton church has gotten two of three stolen statues repaired but is still waiting for restitution from the people police say are responsible.

Two of the three statues stolen from St. Mary’s Catholic Church are back. One of St. Joseph and one of St. Therese.

“This one was the one that was most badly damaged,” said Father Bryan Stitt, the church’s pastor. “There were cracks all the way through. She was sent to a repair store in Pennsylvania and they were able to do a quick turnaround.”

The third still needs to be repaired.

In January, police said 2 college students, one from St. Lawrence University, and the other visiting from St. Bonaventure, broke in and took the statues, which were later found on the St. Lawrence campus.

The students were charged with burglary, larceny, and possession of stolen property.

“The statues sustained a lot of damage. We had them back within hours. I don’t think that they were trying to harm them, but they did a lot of harm and there were a lot of people with the parish that were quite upset about it,” said Father Stitt.

In a 7-hour meeting with the students, Father Stitt says they apologized and wanted to pay for the damages. That could be a $20,000 bill. The church has yet to see the funds but is told it’s just taking time.

“There’s that whole goal of reconciliation. We’re looking for more than just the statues to be repaired, we’re looking to repair relationships and it’s not just with one student or two students, we’re building up a whole body and building up the whole community,” said Father Stitt.

With security cameras installed, the chapel is still open to the public.