RAYNHAM, Mass., Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Leaders at a church in Massachusetts say they hope a statue of the Virgin Mary that was stolen from the church will be returned.
A maintenance worker at the St. Ann's Catholic Church in Raynham noticed the statue was missing Thursday, The (Brockton) Enterprise reported.
Church officials then alerted police, the Rev. John Murray said Sunday.
"It's just an irreverent gesture. Certainly the parishioners were upset," Murray said. "It's just one of those difficult things that happens."
During Sunday's Mass, Murray asked parishioners to pray for those responsible for the theft of the 3-foot statue.
"I certainly have no ill will toward the person who did it," Murray said, adding that he hopes someone will return the statue to the church.
The minister did not say what it would cost to replace the statue.
"It's a sad and unfortunate reality of the times in which we live, that people don't respect the property of others, religious or otherwise," he said.