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Vandalized Jesus statue restored at Sacred Heart

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It's a 100-year-old statue that has been reunited with its home at Sacred Heart Church after being vandalized last year.  A generous donation helped get it restored.

Driving down 5th Avenue you'll notice a familiar face is back in the neighborhood.  The face of a 500-pound Jesus statue standing outside Sacred Heart Church in Rock Island.

"I think it gives them a sense of hope," said church member Chris Mandle.

While this statue is seeing better days now, that wasn't the case a year ago.

"A lot of the body was shattered, and the arms were completely broken off, and the hands were in pretty bad shape as well," said Mandle.

Last year on Easter the statue was vandalized.  Surveillance video shows a person tipping and knocking the statue down completely.  The church was left to decide whether to have the statue restored or replaced.

"We got calls from (passersby), wondering when it's going to be back because they missed seeing it on their daily commute," said Mandle.

Chris Owens, who owns Old School Millworks in East Moline, donated his service to restore the statue.

"We started the project about two o'clock on Christmas Eve. It will be probably a memorable Christmas Eve for for the rest of our lives," said Owens.

They got the statue back to where it belongs.

"There's a lot of ladies and gentlemen who've probably been coming to this church for many years, and for that to be gone?  Now that it's back, maybe we'll get some smiles out of it," said Owens.

The church has added new security measures, including a gate around the statue. There's also a longer beam inside that makes it almost impossible for someone to knock over the statue.