Investigation underway after Rockland church vandal leaves behind quahogs with messages written on them

ROCKLAND, MASS. (WHDH) - Authorities are trying to track down a vandal who damaged a Catholic church in Rockland and left behind several quahog shells with messages written on them earlier this week, officials announced.

Rev. James F. Hickey, the pastor at Holy Family Church, says he discovered the shells scattered on the lawn outside the church early Tuesday morning, along with a pair of broken stained glass windows, two broken rectory windows, and a dollar bill under a Virgin Mary statue with a message written on it that read, “priests repent.”

Messages penned on the broken shells included “Jesus,” “repent,” “jeweler box,” “eternal life,” “love” and “eternal peace,” according to Hickey.

“I think that someone is disturbed and is affected by some sort of reaction to Catholicism,” Hickey told 7NEWS. “People are dying from the virus. A few windows got broken, so it’s not the biggest deal in the world.”

Police say they have since upped patrols in the area as they investigate the crime.

“I would hope that the person who did this might have the encouragement from this interview to call me up,” Hickey added.

Investigators are reviewing surveillance cameras in the area in an effort to identify a suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Rockland police.

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