JERSEY CITY — A priest personally cleaned up a Virgin Mary statue outside a city church that appeared to be vandalized with dog feces and a cigarette on Friday.

The Rev. Thomas Quinn told someone arriving for midday mass at St. Michael Church on Ninth St reported the desecration. Police were called, and after speaking to officers, Quinn said he grabbed a ladder and cleaned up the statue's face and removed the cigarette positioned at the statue's mouth.

The incident does not appear to be a hate crime, according to Jersey City police spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione, and the investigation into the incident is ongoing.

The church does not have a security camera pointed at the statue, Quinn told ABC 7 Eyewitness News.

Quinn told CBS New York he forgives whoever is behind the vandalism, and offered help if they were to come forward.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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