Whatever drove someone to desecrate St. John the Baptist Church last weekend, the intruder(s) left with far more than precious religious artifacts.
Taken too was a priceless bit of the sense of sanctuary that this place provides to 1,000 Westport families.
No matter what else goes on in the lives of its members, St. John the Baptist Church has always been a place of peace, safety and tranquility. It is the place they can turn for a caring word, the comfort of friends and the solace of tradition and faith.
It remains all of those things, but the notion that someone would assault this church strikes not just St. John’s members but all of Westport to the core. For if this sacred place can be violated, what place really is safe?
Like many churches, St. John the Baptist left its doors unlocked much of the time. That is not a result of carelessness, rather a sign of welcome. Even those who don’t take advantage of the opportunity are comforted by the knowledge that they can stop by any time, sit down and contemplate the beauty of this church.
Like many parts of life in these strange times, that may have to change — something else the intruder(s) has taken.
Whether motivated by greed, rage or something else, the troubled person(s) who did this has caused greater harm than he or she may know. But if the intent was to weaken the St. John the Baptist Church spirit, that did not happen.
From Sunday’s re-consecrtation to the Mass that followed and embraces shared later outside, the strength of this family is evident and more powerful than before.
That is something no thief could touch.