Father William Graney, the pastor of Resurrection Parish in the Diocese of Wilmington, has been released from the hospital after last week’s assault upon him by a man police said he was trying to help.
Father Graney was attacked July 30 in his office in the Pike Creek parish by homeless man Joshua August, 25, police said. The Resurrection pastor was beaten in the attack and his assailant was diverted by parish staff members coming to Father Graney’s aid.
Father Graney was released from the hospital Monday and is staying with family, according to Bob Krebs, diocese communications director. His condition has improved but he will need additional medical treatment, Krebs said.
A parish staff member who was in the office at the time sustained minor injuries. Another staff member was uninjured in the incident.
Police learned from the church employees that the assailant had been inside the church and could be heard arguing inside the pastor’s office. After the argument, employees heard what sounded like hitting or thumps and when they came in they saw the pastor lying on the floor and the other man was punching and kicking him.
The church employees attempted to break up the fight but the assailant pushed them aside and continued the assault.
The church employees were then able to lure the assailant out of the church by telling him that they would give him a ride and money. Once he was outside, they locked the front door, locking him outside. The man struck the door multiple times trying to get back in. He did break the main doors of the church. However, he was not able to get into the locked church office.
Masses at the parish resumed over the weekend.
Father Gregory Corrigan, who retired recently as associate pastor of Resurrection parish, returned to the parish in time for Masses this weekend, according to a statement issued last week by Bishop Malooly. The bishop described Father Graney as “one of our most beloved pastors” and requested prayers for his full recovery.