NJ couple replaces sacred statue stolen from church

Posted at 9:11 PM, Dec 19, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-19 21:11:33-05

After their beloved statue of Jesus was stolen, parishioners of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Williamsburg prayed that some way, somehow it would come back to them.  Two angels from New Jersey have answered their prayers.

When Kathy and George Damerel heard about the theft they felt compelled to do something, so the couple donated their own statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to the church.

“We were horrified. Kat had the statue in her family over a hundred years, and we thought wow, we’ll donate it,” said George Damerel

The couple did not think twice about replacing the stolen statue with one that has been in their family for over a century.  Before it was passed onto them 17 years ago, it belonged to Damerel’s grandmother who kept it in her bedroom in upstate New York.

“She had a special little dresser with a granite top.  She always prayed to him every morning and every night,” said Damerel. “We’re just thrilled to be able to do this and we’re doing this in the memory of my grandmother.”

George Damerel carefully carried the statue outside, where it was blessed and then locked into place.

The unholy act was caught on surveillance camera, and the pastor continues to work with police to find the suspect.

“I still hope this person reflects on his own actions. This is not the right thing to do especially now in this time that we are confronting so many difficulties as a society,” said Reverend Manuel Jesus Rodriguez.

The old statue which the family refurbished is smaller than the one that was stolen, but clearly a giant to this church community.

“It was not somebody locally,” said longtime parishioner Hilda Rivera. “Someone elsewhere cared enough to replenish our statue which is really beautiful.”