A very meaningful statue outside the Parish of St. Benedict in Ahwatukee Foothills was damaged recently, but the community has already stepped up to make sure it is replaced quickly.

The statue of Mary on the east side of the church in a small courtyard had its head and hands cut off over the weekend of June 7. Church officials filed a police report on the incident and have submitted a claim to their insurance provider to see about getting the statue replaced.

In the meantime, several parishioners have already approached leadership at the church offering to replace it.

“It just proves the heart of our community,” said Suzanne Percy, parish development director. “We’re a true community. Everyone that is here is here for one another. This is what we do. When things happen, we’re here to support one another. St. Benedict’s is an amazing community.”

The statue was donated to the church by church members about four years ago, Percy said. It has been the centerpiece of a small prayer garden ever since.

“It’s part of who we are as a church,” Percy said. “Our lady of Guadalupe is a very special person in our faith. She’s there for all to enjoy … It’s odd that she’s missing but more so, people’s hearts just ache a little bit because someone chose to make a point, or no point at all, by damaging something that means so much to so many people.”

Church officials are still waiting to hear back from the insurance provider, but they expect the statue to be replaced within a month.

According to the police report, empty beer cans were found near the scene. It’s unknown whether those are connected to the incident.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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