BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — A Catholic church was vandalized Tuesday night with anti-religious and other messages spray-painted on buildings and other property, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said.

Sacred Heart of Mary is located at 6739 S. Boulder Road and BCSO said the graffiti is similar to another incident that happened in September last year.

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  • Vandalism at Sacred Heart of Mary church in Boulder
  • Spray-painted vandalism on Sacred Heart of Mary church in Boulder
  • Graffiti on Boulder Catholic church doors
  • Sacred Heart of Mary statue vandalized in Boulder
  • Broken window at Boulder Catholic church
  • Truck vandalized at Boulder Catholic church

“We can’t yet conclusively say that it is related to September’s incident, but the crimes are very similar in nature,” a BCSO spokesperson told FOX31.

Wednesday afternoon, crews could be seen power-washing the messages off the church walls and boarding up smashed windows.

“I hate to say it, but I wasn’t necessarily surprised to hear it had happened,” Mark Haas said.

Haas is the spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Denver and said the parish was prepared for events like this following news that the Supreme Court is considering overturning abortion rights.

The South Boulder church is well known locally for an annual display featuring thousands of crosses, which say they represent the number of abortions performed each day in the United States.

“They’re very passionate about proclaiming the truth about what we believe,” Haas said. “They have visible displays of our beliefs of being pro-life, so it does draw attention to it.”

Vandals spray-painted abortion rights messages and anarchist symbols on the church building, signs and a truck in the parking lot overnight in late September 2021. A priest was awoken by the sound of breaking glass around 3 a.m. and police believed the vandals were scared off when he turned on the lights outside. 

Here are photos from the September 2021 incident:

Last year’s vandalism was left up for a bit as an example to the community.

“I think at this point, we have decided to leave it up. We think it’s important for people in the community to see there are people out there who are doing these things because we are not the only church. There’s been a number of churches vandalized. Not only Catholic churches but other churches too,” Mark Evevard said after the September 2021 incident.

BCSO is investigating Tuesday’s incident by reviewing surveillance and believes multiple suspects were involved.