Among the damaged pieces at Our Lady of Lasalette was this crucifix, which parishioner Bobbie Clopton said was more than 80 years old. (Michelle Higginbotham / American Press_
Daniel Wayne Duplechin
Last Modified: Monday, December 17, 2012 11:18 AM
Parishioners at Our Lady of Prompt Succor and Our Lady of Lasalette, both located in Sulphur, will take part in prayers of reparation before Masses scheduled later this week, Bishop Glen John Provost of the Diocese of Lake Charles said Sunday.
The prayers will come in the wake of weekend vandalism at both churches that left numerous religious statues destroyed.
At his Sunday morning Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Provost asked parishioners there to pray for parishioners at the affected churches. After Mass, he told the American Press that the prayers of reparation, which he would lead, would precede Masses at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Our Lady of Prompt Succor and 8:30 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of Lasalette.
Around a dozen statutes were destroyed at Our Lady of Prompt Succor; perhaps 11 were destroyed or damaged at Our Lady of Lasalette. Some statues at Our Lady of Prompt Succor were about 100 years old, the pastor said. A parishioner at Our Lady of Lasalette said the crucifix vandalized there was perhaps 80 years old.
“Replacement of these statutes is not easy to find,” Provost said. “The churches have insurance but it doesn’t replace the sentimental and historic value of the statues. These are momentoes of the history of the parishes.”
Provost compared the destruction to someone burglarizing a home and destroying cherished and irreplaceable family photos.
Provost said prayers would be offered for both parishes, “and for the young fellow who did all the damage, as well.”
Daniel Wayne Duplechin, 35, of Sulphur was charged in the case with hate crimes, two counts of burglary of a religious building and two counts of felony criminal damage to a religious building. In addition to the damage at the Catholic churches, the suspect was also accused of shattering glass entry ways at Henning Memorial United Methodist Church and Sulphur First Baptist Church; authorities said he did not make entry into either building.
Sulphur police arrested Duplechin on Saturday morning outside Our Lady of Lasalette. There, a parishioner who was in the prayer room called police after being approached by a person identified as Duplechin who was toting a sledgehammer. Police said Duplechin charged an officer outside the church, but was subdued with a taser and arrested.
Sulphur Police Chief Lewis Coats said Duplechin told authorities “God ordered him to destroy the statues.”
Duplechin was taken to the Sulphur Jail, where he remained Sunday night. Bond was set at $690,000.