Virgin of Guadalupe statue replaced after previous gunfire incident at SE Houston church

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Monday, April 12, 2021
Church's Virgin Mary statue replaced after vandalization incident
A new statue can now be venerated outside Queen of Peace Catholic Church. Several parishioners have already paid their respects by decorating the area with flowers.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe that was found vandalized outside of a southeast Houston church in January was finally replaced Sunday morning.

Queen of Peace Catholic Church held a replacement statue inauguration in the 3000 block of Telephone Road at 9 a.m., honoring the new Virgin Mary as parishioners adorned the area with flowers.

The video above shows the new statue living on top of a few steps outside in the church's green space.

According to parishioners, the statue was hit by at least six bullets back in December of 2020, leaving holes in the venerated object.

SEE RELATED STORY: Virgin of Guadalupe statue hit by gunfire outside SE Houston church

Witnesses said the person responsible is a man who was wearing a red suit and a black hat.

After the vandalism, the statue was in the process of being restored. In this video from Susanna Rozelle, Our Lady of Guadalupe was adorned with her symbolic crown.

"I just think it's something evil, you know? It's something that's not good. We were scared because it's right across the street," said Ruby Garcia, who lives in the area.

Garcia's mother cleaned the previous statue every other day and said she was extremely upset.

"It's just ridiculous. The first thing I thought about, I said, 'Well, what if someone had been there and gotten shot accidently because some stupid person passed by shooting it?'" wondered Irene Garcia, another resident of the area.

Anyone with information on the suspect is urged to contact authorities.

The site, located just feet away from Telephone Road, is visited often by parishioners and others in the area for prayer and inspiration.

Queen of Peace Catholic Church was established in 1945. It wasn't clear when the statue was installed.

Our Lady of Guadalupe traces its roots back to 1531 when an apparition of Mary, the mother of Jesus, appeared five times in Mexico, according to historical accounts. A cloak containing an image of her is located at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City and is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites for the Catholic faithful.