Crucifix desecrated at St. Rita Church in Haiku

Vandals carefully sprayed black paint

Vandals spray-painted a crucifix black between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning at St. Rita Church in Haiku. Church officials plan to remove, restore and return the crucifix to its place in a shrine on the church property.

Someone desecrated a crucifix at St. Rita Church in Haiku, spray-painting it black sometime between 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Wednesday, said church secretary Faythe Urayanza.

Whoever did it was deliberate, painting the crucifix only and not getting spray paint on other parts of the shrine located on the side of the church at 655 Haiku Road.

“You could tell they took their time,” Urayanza said. “It wasn’t messy or anything. It was very clean.”

A neighbor discovered the vandalism around 6 a.m. Wednesday, she said. Police were called to investigate.

The church plans to remove the crucifix, restore it and return it to its place, she said. She didn’t know how long that would take or how much it would cost.

Church officials ask anyone with information about the vandalism to call the church at 575-2601 or the Maui Police Department at 244-6400.