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Statue donated after one stolen from church

December 19, 2012 2:42:23 PM PST
For decades people have prayed before the three foot tall statue of Jesus made of marble outside saints Peter and Paul Church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Two weeks ago it disappeared.

Reverend Manuel de Jesus Rodriguez says a surveillance camera caught a man prying it out of place at 4 a.m.

"This is an act of disrespect. Not just to us as a church but to the whole community," Rev. Rodriguez said.

Parishioners say their prayers have been answered.

Kathleen and George Damerel donated their statue of the sacred heart of Jesus to the church.

"It gives it a whole new life and I hope people who are a part of parish will enjoy it as much as we have," Kathleen Damerel said.

The heirloom, depicting Jesus' love for humanity, has been in Kathy's family for more than 100 years.

The New Jersey couple got it 17 years ago.

"I sanded it down and it has probably 20 coats of primer and enamel and then a gloss enamel on top of it. We want it to be out here forever, the next hundred years," George Damerel said.

Kathy says her grandmother, a devote Catholic, prayed before the statue twice a day.

Kathy believes her grandmother is proud of its new home.

"There isn't words enough to tell these people who gave us the sacred heart, it was nice of them," said Louise Gergel, a parishioner.

And as happy as parishioner and neighbors are to have this statue, they have a message for the man who stole the original one.

Look they're not angry, they're hurt, so just return the statue and all will be forgiven.

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