Vandals damage Georgetown’s Dahlgren Chapel, campus officials say

Vandalism damaged a historic chapel at Georgetown University over the weekend, forcing the relocation of early Masses on Sunday, campus officials said.

Primary damage in Dahlgren Chapel “was to furniture and other fixtures,” Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said on the university’s website. Dahlgren, which seats 275, has been the main Catholic chapel on campus for 120 years.

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A cross above the main altar is believed to be made of metal brought from England to Maryland in the 17th century. It was undamaged.

DeGioia said a preliminary investigation indicated no desecration of religious symbols. A campus spokeswoman said damage to a cross used in processionals apparently occurred during an effort to reach a piano, rather than as desecration.

Masses were moved early in the day during the investigation, but resumed at the chapel by 5 p.m., the spokeswoman said.

It was not clear who committed the vandalism or why. The red-brick chapel is west of the iconic Healy building.

 
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