When fire broke out at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church early Saturday morning, the two Irish priests at the close-knit ethnically mixed parish concluded vandals had struck again.
Several times during the last 18 months, stained glass windows have been broken, church property has been stolen and not long ago a large statue of the Sacred Heart was yanked from its pedestal.
The steel cables the priests began stretching across the doors of the church at 1265 S. Corning St. at night did not deter the trespassers.
Fire investigators suspect intruders struck again last night, setting a blaze that caused damage estimated at $125,000. Religious books, the church's entire collection of vestments and cassocks along with other items were destroyed.