"They could have come here for food or clothing. They could have come for a kind word, some guidance, but they chose a different route," said Sister Johnice.
January 14 was a usual day for Sister Mary Johnice Rzadkiewicz, director of the Response to Love Center. The 76-year-old nun wanted to stay in bed for a little longer but decided to get up and complete her daily prayer.
That was when she heard a ruckus outside the center on Kosciuszko Street. "I opened the door and there was the ladder right in front of my doorway," she said, as per Buffalo News. Two thieves were using a ladder to climb on the roof to steal copper pipes. Sister Johnice asked the thieves to leave. She said, "I said 'Get out of here, this is God’s mission. What are you doing to his property?' "
Sister Johnice then prayed a bit and kicked the ladder. The vandals had jumped off the roof and ran in opposite directions, while she prayed that they do not get injured. She added, "I saw the ladder. I saw the guy. I threw the ladder down, which was huge as could be, and lo and behold, they ran away."
Taking images from the center's security cameras, the center placed photos of the vandals on its Facebook page and wrote, "Do you recognize these two? This Saturday morning these two morons decided to climb up on the building at Response to Love Center to strip our building of our gutters and downspouts to make a few bucks at the scrap yard, thinking our downspouts are made of copper."
"They could have come here for food or clothing. They could have come for a kind word, some guidance, but they chose a different route," said the director of the Response to Love Center. https://t.co/59fy6YYnqs— The Buffalo News (@TheBuffaloNews) January 17, 2023
The post added, "Meanwhile Sister Johnice hollered and kicked out the ladder from under them and commandeered the ladder. She’s one tough cookie, I know I work for her. So, we got a couple of face photos of these Einsteins. We have contacted the police and will be forwarding the video and photos to the police. Any help identifying these two would be greatly appreciated."
“I picked it up like Superman and threw the ladder down.”— Sarah Minkewicz (@SarahMinkewicz) January 18, 2023
Sister Mary Johnice might be small but she sure is mighty! She scared off 2 men who were trying to steal the gutters off the Response to Love Center. See how the thieves were no match for this nun. @news4buffalo pic.twitter.com/jBNaFGtpT8
Years ago vandals had stolen the copper downspouts, so now the replacements are aluminum, Sister Johnice said, as per Buffalo News. The Buffalo Police are carrying out the investigation and people have been calling the center with support and leads. As Sister Johnice continues to pray over the incident, now she sees it a little differently, calling at least one of the suspects broken and desperate.
"They could have come here for food or clothing. They could have come for a kind word, some guidance, but they chose a different route," she said. "That is not of God, that is evil. I just wish I could meet them."
Don't mess with Sister Mary Johnice!— Abby Fridmann (@abbyfridmannTV) January 19, 2023
The Response to Love Center's director wasn't about to let two men steal gutters off the building.
Amazing story by @SarahMinkewicz.@news4buffalohttps://t.co/jbV7AXw1Wx
Buffalo News also reported that Sister Johnice has retained the ladder and calls it Jacob's ladder, after the story in the Bible about Jacob dreaming about a ladder stretching from heaven to earth. She said the center never had a ladder large enough to reach the roof. She concluded, "Every day I've been praying for these two thugs."
Cover Photo Source: Facebook | Response to Love Center