Wilmington residents have reacted strongly after three churches in town were vandalized at some time Friday night into early Saturday morning.
Among the several hundred comments on the Wilmington Patch Facebook page over the weekend was selectman Mike Champoux, who is a member of one of the churches that was vandalized.
"Disgusting," wrote Champoux. "I'm so angry."
According to police, the graffiti was discovered at St. Thomas of Villanova, Wilmington Congregational Church and St. Dorothy's Church at around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning just as several funerals were about to get underway.
Father Phillip Early told multiple news stations, including WBZ-TV, that the vandals missed the mark with their intended message.
“It angers in the sense that they took that approach to our faith community,” Early said, according to the station. “But it achieves nothing, so in that sense I feel bad that’s the only method they had.”
The majority of the reactions on the Wilmington Patch Facebook page were of anger and shock.
"I can't believe it's really happened in our town," wrote Therese Nguyen.
Nguyen wasn't alone in her sentiment.
"This is just atrocious," posted Kathlene Clancy-Cella. "I'm sad for our community."
Patch blogger Lennie Malvone submitted several photographs of the damage done at St. Thomas, showing stairs, doors, and statues covered in bright red paint. By late in the day on Saturday, graffiti had been covered on the doors of the church while mass went on as scheduled.
Anyone with information on the graffiti is encouraged to contact Wilmington Police Department at (978) 658-5071.
In the comments section of Patch's initial coverage of the story, Malvone shared his own thoughts on the vandalism.
"Hate came to Wilmington tonight," Malvone commented. "It reminds us that bigotry is not dead"