Damage to statue of Jesus intentional or accidental?

Our Lady of Guadalupe parishioner: ‘He's real wobbly'

By Jessie Degollado - Reporter, Adam B. Higgins - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - The long-cherished statue of Jesus the day of the crucifixion, which stands in an alcove next to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, is back on its pedestal after it was found facedown on the floor several days ago.

“We’re so troubled because we’ve had him for so many years,” parishioner Margie Gomez said.

No one could say how long the statue had been there, but people said they remember it being there when they were children.

The historic church, which dates back to 1911 and is located in the 1300 block of El Paso Street, is across the street from Plaza Guadalupe, where Pope John Paul celebrated Mass in 1987.

Despite the visible damage to the statue, many still come to it to pray and light candles, as they always have.

“He never leaves me by myself. He is always on my side," parishioner Rose Toruno said.

“It hurts to see him this way,” said Olga Rodriguez, a longtime parishioner.

She also said the statue already had been “real wobbly.”

Church management said the statue needed to be re-glued to the pedestal, so if someone tried to touch, hold or kiss the statue, it’s possible that could have made it fall forward. There was no sign, however, that anyone had been injured.

But others think vandals may have pushed the statue over.

A statement from the Archdiocese of San Antonio said the following:

“This statue of Christ is very close to the spirituality of the parishioners in this church. We know many people come to pray in front of this statue, and the damage is heartbreaking for them.”

The Archdiocese of San Antonio also expressed gratitude to those who have come forward to donate or help with the cost of repairing or purchasing a new statue.

Gomez said she and other parishioners have organized a daylong fundraiser on Good Friday at the church, starting with breakfast tacos from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by enchilada plates being sold until 3:30 p.m.

“Come and help us raise money for our Jesus,” Gomez said. 

The parish and the Archdiocese of San Antonio's office of risk management will determine if safety signs will be put up as a result of the incident. 

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