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A Mosque Raised Thousands To Help A Catholic Church That Was Vandalized

What better time than Ramadan for a story about helping out a neighbour in need.

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In May, the statue of Jesus in front of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Mississauga, Ont. was desecrated — its sacred heart and face blackened with paint, its fingers mangled.

Peel Police investigating vandalism at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Mississauga as a hate crime.

But it was only the latest act of vandalism at the Catholic church.

Earlier this year, according to the Catholic Register, someone had previously broken in and ripped pages out of the Sacramentary book. In previous incidents, someone had defaced both the church and a nearby Catholic school with spray paint.

That didn't sit well with Hamid Slimi, imam of the nearby Sayeda Khadija Centre.

Visiting Fr.Lando of St Catherine of Siena Church that was vandalized recently to show support. This is unacceptable!

Slimi visited the church and Father Camillo Lando several weeks ago and saw the vandalism for himself.

"It was just nasty to see this," Slimi told BuzzFeed Canada. "I said we have to do something, what can we offer you?"

Lando mentioned they needed funds to repair the damage and Slimi took that news back to the mosque.

The mosque managed to raise $5,000 in a single day after Slimi mentioned the church's plight at a Friday sermon.

"I want to tell [the church's] congregation that there are people who feel their pain," said Slimi.

Slimi delivered the donation last week.

Just handed $5k @skcentre donation to the community of St Catherine of Siena Church which was vandalized a month ago.

Father Lando presented the donation to his congregation at Sunday's mass.

"I will tell my congregation that it was really a beautiful and generous gesture on their part," Lando told the Toronto Star.

"And also it's an act of confidence and understanding. We are walking together in this community. We keep our faith, and we have to honour and respect people of other faiths."

Slimi said he's now received calls and emails from people in the U.S. and Europe inspired by his congregations generosity. But, he said, helping others is just part of his faith.

"We don't believe in discrimination when it comes to charity, you give charity to whoever needs it," he said.

"Our understanding of worship is service to humanity."

Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Contact Lauren Strapagiel at

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