Vandals inspire restoration project

Staff Writer

The statue of St. Therese of Lisieux, France that stood in the garden at St. Thomas the Apostle School was recently removed from its post. Neighbors noticed that it was gone last week and reported it as an act of vandalism, but a St. Thomas administrator said the school was not alarmed by the statue’s removal and considers it a sophomoric prank.

“One day we noticed it was missing, but we found it in the back yard,” said Candace Scheidt, principal at St. Thomas the Apostle School. “We just assumed it was some kids playing a silly prank.”

The St. Therese statue was chosen as a highlight for the school’s garden, which is located on the northwest corner in front of the school, to inspire St. Thomas students to aspire to excellence, Scheidt said.

“We were trying to find a beautiful role model for youth,” said Scheidt, who said St. Therese began service as a cloistered nun in the Carmelite order at the age of 18. “St. Therese was honored for doing little things well; she never did anything grand, just showed patience and kindness and helped others.”

Scheidt said St. Therese is a great example to every one that while we can’t all do big things, we can take the time to do the small things to the best of our abilities.

“She teaches the value of love, kindness and acts done well which is what kids can do now,” Scheidt said.

Scheidt said the alleged vandals or pranksters helped her to kickstart the statue replacement project she had put on the back burner.

“The statue was an indoor statue that was coated with weather protectant and that protectant was not effective,” Scheidt said about the cracked and crumbling statue.

Scheidt said it was in her plans to replace the statue but the project took a back seat to more pressing school expenses, but now she plans to take a more active approach to seeking out a new statue for the garden.

“We will make sure the new St. Therese statue [is] created to be outdoors or put a glass case over it so that it will stay in good condition,” Scheidt said.