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Antique crucifix back on display at historic Mackinac Island church after squirrel attack

Church staff at a historic Michigan church restored a crucifix that had been damaged by a squirrel trapped in the building overnight.

Photo by Alex Lauzon/Unsplash/Creative Commons

(RNS) — In a battle between a squirrel and the Son of God, the squirrel won.

But Jesus, as always, made a comeback.

A squirrel trapped at Ste. Anne Catholic Church on Mackinac Island, Michigan, wrecked an antique crucifix this past week, according to The figure of Jesus on the cross, which was broken into pieces and had lost its head and arms, was discovered on the floor by church staff at the historic church, whose roots date back to 1670.  

Sainte Ann Catholic Church on Mackinac Island, Michigan. RNS photo by Bob Smietana

Ste. Anne Catholic Church on Mackinac Island, Michigan. RNS photo by Bob Smietana

Staff said the squirrel had likely been let in by a visitor and trapped overnight. The rodent had chewed on some windowsills and knocked over plants and votive candles but left other religious items, including a statue of the Virgin Mary and a candle in the sanctuary, alone.

Leanne Brodeur, the church’s administrative assistant, said the squirrel was still on the scene when a maintenance worker arrived.

“We looked around, and that’s when we saw him,” Brodeur told “There was a squirrel sitting on top of the piano, looking at us.”

The church staff replastered the figure of Jesus and repainted it. The crucifix is now back on display at the church, which has baptismal records going back to the 1690s, according to a historic marker outside the church. 

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