NEW YORK (PIX11) — Our Lady of Sorrows churchgoers ditched the pews on Saturday, gathering instead at their beloved outdoor shrine.

It was almost exactly a year ago that someone climbed over the fence to destroy and decapitate its statues but now they are restored and finally back where they belong. 

“When this happened, we had a rosary last year so this is less welcoming them back to their home,” one parishioner said.

PIX11 News has been keeping an eye on the shrine since it was vandalized.

Following our coverage, Cardinal Timothy Dolan visited the church and it was on our air that a local artisan Paul Majorana learned that figures at the Fatima Grotto had been desecrated and decided to fix them for free.

It took months for him to put the innumerable pieces back together. It was well worth the wait, for longtime churchgoers like Julie Rodriguez. 

“I’ve been coming to this church my whole life. So, every time I walked by here, I would stop and see the virgin and the children. For me, it’s a blessing being able to see it back and be able to see it how it was my whole life.”