LINDENWOLD, N.J. (WPVI) --Somebody desecrated the sanctuary of a Camden County church, leaving thousands of dollars in damage behind.
Parishoners at Saint Lawrence Church at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Lindenwold are heartbroken, saddened that someone would do such terrible damage to their church.
Vernon Wishropp of Lindenwold choked back tears when he described the pain felt by such damage, telling us "It's just devastating. It makes me sad. Why would anyone want to do this?"
Wednesday morning, within a very small window at a time when the church happened to be empty between 11:30 a.m. and noon, a person or persons entered the church, which is open all day to allow for prayer. They broke several stained glass windows by throwing votive candles right through them.
Father Joseph Capella says, "I was shocked and then - it's kind of interesting, my thoughts immediately turned to the person who did it and I thought, what a shame. I wonder what's going on in his or her life that they would take it out on the church."
The vandal knocked over the church's paschal candle, the papal flag, and threw the crucifix on the alter to the floor.
Lindenwold police officers collected evidence they hope leads them to a suspect.
Chief Thomas Brennan says, "We were fortunate yesterday they managed to find some pieces of glass they did get some latent fingerprints from."
The windows are one-of-a kind, made for the church in Europe years ago - possibly irreplaceable, and definitely very expensive to repair.
This parish will do its best to make the windows right again and they will pray for the person who broke them.
Frank Hanley of Berlin, New Jersey tells us, "The Lord is here, and he will always be here. But it's a shame that damage was done to this place of worship, where we come to worship our God."
Police want to hear from anyone who may have seen anything or anyone suspicious on the White Horse Pike in the area of the church Wednesday morning. They continue to look for surveillance video.
The church is planning to put up a GoFundMe site to collect donations to help with the cost of repairs.