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Church vandalized with obscene graffiti, swastika

St. Bonaventure Catholic Parish officials were greeted by an unpleasant display when they arrived for Mass Sunday morning and found the church's Nativity scene vandalized.

St. Bonaventure Business Manager Nancy Cesar said the damage, which was discovered at approximately 6:30 a.m. Sunday, included drawings of 666, a swastika, phallic symbols, writings of "Heil Hitler" and curse words on the Nativity figures in Sharpie marker.

Another Nativity display at a Huntington Beach home was also defaced. Huntington Beach police didn't return calls seeking comment but wrote in an email that there were no new developments as of Wednesday.

"Oh my gosh, it was so devastating and hurtful, I would say," Cesar said. "Interestingly enough, they damaged everything but the figure of the virgin of Mary. They didn't do anything to it."

The figure of the baby Jesus was also not harmed since it traditionally isn't added to the display until the church's midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

Most of the writings were easily washed off, with the rest being painted over, Cesar said.

Cesar said the church's Nativity, which is put up every year by the church's Vietnamese group, is generally vandalized each year.

"Except not like this," she said. "This one was really disgusting."

Though Cesar admitted the vandalism made her mad, it didn't ruin the holiday for her or the church.

"We still had the same kind of attendance at our Masses, so we were happy, but we hope whoever did this would be found out and hopefully they don't do it again," she said.

--Andrew Shortall, Times Community News

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