After it was recently uncovered, the statue was put back into the earth just as quickly, possibly to avoid reigniting the controversy that dogged this project through years of legal challenges. Construction equipment had moved the statue to what will be the courtyard of the u-shaped apartment complex.
It was reburied in a private ceremony attended by a small group that included the Rev. Lawrence Rondeau, the former pastor of St. Joseph, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, and a handful of church members.
Betty Richard, a longtime parishioner, said the only visible damage was a chipped nose and broken fleur-de-lis in St. Joseph’s hands. “I was so happy I was able to see it,” she said. “It was just amazing it was in one piece.”
Tom Dalton writes for The Salem, Mass., News.