WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — A Catholic school marking 100 years in the Brookland neighborhood of Northeast became the target of vandalism.

St. Anthony Catholic School shared pictures of the destruction on its property, located at 3400 12th St. NE, on an online fundraising page established to help fix the damage. Among the vandalism was a beheaded statue of the school’s patron saint.

The school included this message on its fundraising page:

We are sad to share that our beloved St. Anthony Catholic School was recently vandalized. Our school is proudly celebrating its 100th year in the neighborhood. St. Anthony loves the Brookland neighborhood and we make it our mission to serve and love our neighbors well. Even if you don’t attend the school or church, you are probably still familiar with our school and our principal, Mr. Thomasian, and our school children and families who take pride in being part of this vibrant neighborhood. We are very hurt by the actions of one or few, but we plan to fix all the damage before the first day of school.

Our beautiful St. Anthony statue was knocked down and broken, the nearby concrete windowsill was broken, and the statue’s head is missing. Our three playground benches were also pulled out of the ground and damaged.

This desecration is a hate-crime and was reported to the police.

These spaces that were vandalized were created by the generous donations from school families and from the community for the community.

Many neighborhood volunteers have put sweat equity into making our outdoor space inviting and welcoming for all. The playgrounds have always remained unlocked so that they are available for the neighborhood. This wasn’t a just a loss for our church and school but truly a loss for the community.
We will use the funds to replace the statue, broken benches and repair the damage done to the building.

Any additional funds will go towards beautifying the outdoor space and improved safety. Thank you for your prayers and for partnering with us to rebuild the broken pieces before our school doors open to our children.

Please keep our school community in your prayers.