Trapped squirrel wreaks havoc inside historic Michigan church

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. — An uninvited guest caused quite a bit of damage after becoming trapped inside one of the oldest churches on Michigan’s Mackinac Island, overnight.

Leanne Brodeur walked into the downstairs area the Ste. Anne’s Catholic Church parish uses to observe Mass in the winter a few months ago, she was certain vandals had struck, MLive.com reported.

While an intruder was, indeed, spotted by the church’s maintenance engineer a short while later, the chaotic scene became a little less frightening,

The suspect was a squirrel found sitting atop a piano, WWTV reported.

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But the damage had already been done.

After sharing an abridged version on the church’s Facebook page recently, Brodeur, the church’s administrative assistant, recounted in more detail for MLive.com the harrowing encounter that resulted in an unexpected display of artistic prowess.

A couple of months ago a squirrel spent the night in Church and did some damage, including knocking the large cross off...

Posted by Ste. Anne's Church on Mackinac Island, Michigan on Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Upon entering the worship area, Brodeur said she noticed plants were tipped over, unlit votive candles were askew and the vintage crucifix that had adorned the wall behind the altar had smashed to the floor, breaking the plaster figure of Jesus into pieces, the outlet reported.

Brodeur said that Jim Morse, the maintenance engineer, suspected a “critter” had invaded the small space, and his hunch proved correct.

“We looked around, and that’s when we saw him. There was a squirrel sitting on top of the piano, looking at us,” she told the outlet.

After evicting the rodent out a side door, the pair was relieved to find a statue of the Virgin Mary, as well as the perpetually lit sanctuary candle, untouched, but they did find evidence that the squirrel had attempted to chew his way out by chomping on the room’s wooden window sills, MLive.com reported.

Meanwhile, Morse, who has an art degree, took the shattered crucifix home and was able to re-plaster the early 20th-century rood, which Brodeur then painted. It has since been returned to its rightful spot, where Brodeur said the squirrel is welcome to admire it – from outside, the outlet reported.