The El Paso Catholic Diocese is going to welcome back the restored statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that was badly damaged in a vandalism incident last year. 30–year old Isaiah Cantrell was arrested and charged with criminal mischief and possession of marijuana after being arrested on September 15 for almost destroying the Sacred Heart statue that stood on the main altar of St. Patrick's Cathedral. Police say Cantrell walked into St. Patrick's Cathedral and pulled down the almost 90-year-old Sacred Heart of Jesus statue. The statue was decapitated and lost one of its arms when it hit the floor of the cathedral. Bishop Mark Seitz said that while he was sad that the historic statue was destroyed, he was glad that the suspect didn't attack a person.

The statue was shipped to a studio in Chicago to undergo extensive repairs in October of last year. The same company that made the statue was the one that restored it. The director of art and design at Daprato Rigali Studios said it was an honor to restore the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue for the El Paso Diocese. The statue's body was reinforced to the base and from the head to the base. A new hand, arm, and face were sculpted to replace the ones that were shattered. The entire statue was then cleaned and sealed.

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The total cost to restore the Sacred Heart statue was $38,549. Donations were made to the Cathedral Heart Statue Fund and helped pay for the restoration, shipping costs, and even repair to the damaged altar. Other donations were used to upgrade the security system at St. Patrick Cathedral.

Bishop Mark Seitz will be saying a Divine Mercy Mass on April 8 at 6 p.m. for the official unveiling of the newly restored Sacred Heart statue. The Mass will be broadcast on April 11 at 11:00 a.m. on KVIA. I can't imagine what was going through the mind of the person who did this, but I'm so grateful that the Diocese was able to save the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue and return it to its place on the altar at St. Patrick's.

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