(Washington, D.C. – October 11, 2021) The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) condemns the
vandalization of St. Peter’s Italian Catholic Church, the National Italian Parish for Southern California,
located near downtown Los Angeles and has pledged $5,000 for its restoration.
What was supposed to be a day of celebration in honor of Columbus Day, turned bitter early Monday morning when vandals threw red paint on the façade of the historic church built in 1904. In addition, the phrase “land back” was graffitied on the church’s front sidewalk, gates and exterior sides. The vandals also attempted to break in the locked church but luckily, they were not successful. According to the Los Angeles Police Department the incident is being treated as a hate crime.
“The act of vandalizing a sacred place of worship is absolutely disgraceful. Moreover, the specific
targeting of an Italian Parish on Columbus Day raises the attack to the level of a hate crime. We trust the
LAPD will bring those who committed this crime to justice,” said NIAF Chairman Robert E. Carlucci.
“We Italian Americans will not be intimidated, and we will continue to honor Columbus and his courageous voyage which served as the catalyst for more than five centuries of immigration by people from every corner of earth-all of whom were seeking a better life for their families. As such, we will contribute to the restoration of this church to ensure that it remains a beacon of hope in its community,” added Carlucci St. Peter’s Italian Catholic Church has been serving the Italian American community and the surrounding communities since 1904.
The parish is part of the Missionaries of St. Charles Scalabrini and the Order of Malta and carries out programs that benefit the disadvantaged of the neighborhood, regardless of ethnicity or creed.