Odessa priest speaks out after church is vandalized

Odessa priest speaks out after church is vandalized

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Two vandals broke into a Catholic church and caused destruction just days before Ash Wednesday.

"They don't know what they are doing. They are bad because I'm not working hard. I need to work more," said Father Juan Fernando Bonilla.

While they should have been preparing for Ash Wednesday, instead Holy Redeemer Catholic Church was cleaning up a mess vandals left behind.

"Everything destroyed, like the windows, the floors, many things like liquids, ketchup, oil, pickles," said Father Fernando.

More than $20,000 worth of damage done inside the youth center over the weekend.

Not only did they dump all kinds of things on the furniture and floors, they also used paint to write disturbing hate messages on the walls.

Messages so inappropriate, Father Fernando couldn't even say aloud what was written.

"The devil has power but Jesus has more power," he said.

The Odessa Police Department said they are currently investigating the break-in as a burglary, but that could change at any time due to the nature of the messages.

"If it is determined that the elements are met for something more serious then by all means, they could possibly be charged with something else," said Cpl. Steve LeSueur with the Odessa Police Department.

Father Fernando said this has only brought his congregation together and he's praying for those responsible.

"Have you already forgiven the people that went in there and did that?" we asked. "Of course, Of course. I'm here. I'm not a judge. I want to share the mercy of God," said Father Fernando.

If you have information on who theses vandals are, call Odessa CrimeStoppers at (432) 333-TIPS.

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