JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Police are looking for the vandal who desecrated a statue of the Virgin Mary outside a church in New Jersey.

The statue at St. Michael Church in Jersey City had to be cleaned up after its face was found covered in dog feces and a cigarette on Friday.

(Credit: CBSN New York)

The crime wasn’t discovered until a parishioner arriving for midday mass alerted the pastor to the vandalism.

“It’s heart wrenching to contemplate the anguish and pain that an individual must be experiencing to commit such an act. Our prayers go out to the parish members and staff of St. Michael’s Church and to all the faithful,” a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Newark said in a statement.

The pastor told CBS2 he forgives the person who did this and even offered help them, if he or she comes forward.