Vandals defaced a pro-life sign at St. Luke’s Parish in Maple Ridge, B.C. Photo courtesy St. Luke’s Parish

Vandals target B.C. pro-life sign at church

  • March 31, 2021

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. -- A billboard with an image of a young mother holding a child on the property of St. Luke’s Parish has been vandalized again.

The Maple Ridge faith community installed the sign a few years ago and this is the second time it has been defaced with spray paint. The sign is a collaboration between the parish, the Knights of Columbus and the Life Compass Society.

Aida Vorlicek, parish administrative assistant, said the church has been a target of vandalism several times in recent years, including graffiti on other parts of church property and the theft of one outdoor church bell, but the incidents do not seem to pose a threat to the safety of parishioners.

“They don’t put any profanity on it or messages, they just cover it up,” she said.

She added the vandalism has not led to significant repair costs for the parish, save for the time and effort of a volunteer who spends several hours cleaning each time.

The parish filed a police report after the sign was vandalized for the first time in 2020, but did not file one this time.

The billboard has generated a lot of discussion, however. After it was vandalized the first time, parishioner Frances Maddalozzo wrote a letter to the local newspaper, titled “How can the message of motherhood be so offensive?” When shared on Facebook, the letter generated over 330 comments with a wide variety of perspectives, from community members who agreed with the sign’s message to those offended by it. Some even applauded the vandalism.

Maddalozzo believes the large number of comments shows the billboard is “influencing public opinion,” as it was intended to do.

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