JACKMAN, Maine — The statue of Jesus that stood in front of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church for years was placed Tuesday in front of the recently completed St. Faustina Catholic Church after being repaired, according to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.
The 7-foot tall, gold-leaf, bronze statue weighing 600 to 800 pounds was ripped from its base and dragged onto U.S. Route 201, which is Main Street, in June 2010, according to a previously published report. The statue’s arms and nose broke off, and its cement base was cracked. It was valued at $55,000.
St. Anthony’s, constructed in 1828, was demolished in November 2009, after parishioners determined it was too costly to maintain, according to a press release issued by the diocese. Ground was broken for the new church in July.
“It truly was a tough time for this community,” the Rev. Kevin J. Martin, pastor, said in the release. “St. Anthony Church closed, which was so difficult for many parishioners, and then their beautiful statue was defaced as it stood in front of the closed church.”
Parishioners worshipped at the American Legion Hall for four years while funds were raised for the new church and to restore the statue.
“I am immensely grateful for the many sacrifices and contributions that have been made by both local people and our friends and family members from out of town that have helped make all of this possible,” the priest said.
The new church will be dedicated by Bishop Richard J. Malone at an 11 a.m. Mass, Sunday, Dec. 15.
Contributions designated toward St. Faustina Church of St. Anthony Parish may be sent to: St. Faustina Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 457, Greenville, ME 04441. For more information, call Martin at 695-2262.