At 2am a mad man who had escaped from a mental hospital decided to attack his God and vandalized the monastery chapel where we attend Mass. He broke the glass in the foyer, after first attempting to break into the back of the church and then gained entrance to the chapel. One elderly Cistercian sat alone in the darkened chapel praying through a battle with insomnia. He heard the intruder and rushed as fast as he could to the enclosure... the cloistered part of the monastery where only a special dispensation and a key card gains you access. There he alerted authorities. He was safe, thank you, Lord! The intruder was captured. The Cistercian monks ask for your prayers for this man that he might get the help he needs.
St. Benedict, pray for them!
Here is a before picture of the back altar area. The statue of the Blessed Mother had been knocked down during the attack and then righted by the brothers in charge of cleaning up. We could tell she had shifted slightly from her usually spot. The two large stone candelabras were gone. The Crucifix hanging above the Blessed Mother was also gone.
You can see the lectern there with the microphone. The top of it was gone while the metal legs and one other board were all that remained. The Cistercians are preparing for an extraordinary 5 ordinations next month (2 priests and 3 deacons) and we hope they will have all the repairs accomplished by then although I am sure that a little vandalism will not sway them from their joyful celebrations!