Nova Scotia

5-day-old Polish shrine torched in Cape Breton

A shrine that stood in Whitney Pier, N.S. for fewer than five days has been burned to the ground.

A shrine that stood in Whitney Pier, N.S. for fewer than five days has been burned to the ground.

The shrine was built as part of the 100th anniversary celebrations for St. Mary's Polish Church and was modelled after similar shrines in Poland and the Ukraine.

The wooden structure was inscribed in both Polish and Ukranian with the phrase "Peace be with you." It was blessed and dedicated on Sunday.

People found its burned remains on Thursday.

"There's just a general sense of sadness. There's hurt," said parish council chairman Tom Urbaniak. "The community is also I think committed to restorative justice and forgiveness. And so there really is a hope that the person or persons who did this will come forward and that there will be some restorative work in the community and that there will be some reconciliation."

"It's such a senseless act and it's just so very sad. This was a community project and already someone had placed a small statuette of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the spot where the shrine was. All that remains is really a few burned logs and lots of ashes."

He said he hopes people will call the police with any information.

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