The Rev. David Borowiak, pastor of St. Philip the Apostle in Cheektowaga, said he found the notes near the church doors when he arrived for early mass at about 6:30 a.m. Thursday, The Buffalo News reported. Because it was still dark, he did not notice the damage to the statues until a parishioner told him.
Police estimated the damage at about $21,000. The church purchased the statues several years ago when a Catholic orphanage closed.
"The statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is standing, but the face is chipped off," Borowiak said. "The statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is tipped over, and the face is also chipped off. The statue of St. Joseph is completely busted."
Police Capt. James J. Speyer Jr. said the notes included Biblical quotations about worshipping false idols. Speyer said they were written by "a fanatic or someone trying to look like a fanatic."