Vandals Hack Down Cross Above Religious Retreat

A wooden cross that has stood atop a Riverside hill near a Catholic seminary for more than four decades was cut down by a vandal this week.

The 20 to 25-foot-tall cross was erected in the 1970s by members of the then-named Divine World Seminary, replacing an even older version that was put up in the 1960s by high schoolers and seminarians.

Late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, someone cut down the cross near its base, leaving the cross on its side on the ground.

The cross stood on a hill overlooking the complex, now called the Divine Word Seminary Residence and Retreat. Police said it took officers 20 minutes just to hike up to the site.

It is being investigated as vandalism, police said.

Members of the community said they want it back.

“We're all trying to figure the best way to put it up there as quickly as possible," said Geoffrey Buyco, manager of the retreat.

He said the cross is likely too heavy to be carried down the hill. It took 30 people to take it up there when it was first posted.

Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Daniel Suarez at 951-353-7961.

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