Catholic Church in Colorado Town Burnt and Vandalized

January 13, 2004

Source: Denver Post,1413,36%7E53%7E1887319,00.html

On January 13, 2004 the Denver Post reported that St. Catherine of Siena church in Burlington was set on fire and vandalized, causing an estimated $400,000 in damages. "The statue of St. Catherine, the patron saint of firefighters, was knocked from its stand in the rear of the church early Friday morning after vandals set fires inside the church. They also destroyed pages of scriptures, tore down the 14 Stations of the Cross and attempted to set afire wooden statues of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Jesus.

In addition, Rev. Frank Quezada's vestments were set on fire and the holy Eucharist was taken from its tabernacle and thrown about the church.

Now Catholics in this border town of 3,500 people are struggling to find peace amid the destruction to one of the community's cornerstones.

'This is an explicit attack against Roman Catholics,' Quezada said.

The town's resident priest for 1 1/2 years, Quezada said he wondered whether the attack was also directed at Hispanics, not just Catholics."