Smith said the entire grotto was redone in 2006, which is when the current statue of Mary was installed. Despite the occasional rumor that the St. Pat’s neighborhood is deteriorating, Smith said this area has always been quiet and calm.
“I’m here all sorts of hours: shoveling snow in the winter and staying late working on projects,” Smith said. “And this neighborhood has always been a decent neighborhood. You got a couple knuckleheads here and there; what neighborhood doesn’t? But no one has ever messed with the property; we’ve never had any damage. In 30 years, no one has had painted any graffiti, broken any windows, broken any statues.”
Smith the outpouring on social media and through the St. Pat’s website has been overwhelming. People are outraged, people are sending donations to repair or replace her.
“Several people said they’ve be happy to pay for a brand-new statue,” Smith said.