‘It never should have happened’; Local priest responds to damage at local cemetery

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — UPDATE: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 2:30 p.m.

Father Jonathan Demma has issued a response to the community after several community members expressed outrage due to the damage or removal of decorations on gravesites at Sacred Heart Cemetery.

Fr. Demma said a group of volunteers from the church community was meant to help clean up the cemetery over the weekend.

On Saturday, flowers, rosaries, statues and other gravesite decorations were taken from gravesites and thrown into the garbage.

Fr. Demma said that Sacred Heart Catholic Church is currently without a groundskeeper, and the volunteers agreed to help trim the overgrown grass and tree limbs.

“I am heartbroken to learn that during the cleanup, statues and other treasured items dedicated to the memory of your loved ones were collected and discared in the dumpster, and many were damaged in the process,” Fr. Demma said.

Fr. Demma said he is working to understand how this happened in order to ensure it never happens again, as well as clarifying and publishing cemetery policies for the future.

“I am deeply sorry for this,” Fr. Demma said. “It never should have happened.”

Please find the full response from Fr. Demma below: