An unknown suspect wrote, "Demons control me," the number 666 and the word "cyko" -- likely the vandal's signature an alternative spelling of the word "psycho" -- in graffiti on the wall of a brand-new building belonging to St. Francis of Assisi Parish.
The building is still under construction and will eventually be used for community purposes, Rev. Michael Bertram told Fox News.
"Folks are really, really saddened," Bertram said of parishioners' reactions to the graffiti on Sunday. "Truly, the building just gleams. To see something defaced before we got a chance to use it ... really disheartened folks."
St. Francis aims to open the new space "to the surrounding community" since it is "situated in an area where different organizations are moving in," Bertram said.
He said efforts to clean or replace the unique brick, which came from a monastery built in the 19th century, will cost "thousands" of dollars.
The brick is also special to the community; Milwaukee is nicknamed "Cream City" because of the yellow-white brick that was produced in the city in the 19th century. While it wasn't considered valuable back then, its value has increased now that the recipe to create that specific type of brick no longer exists, Bertram said.
"Historically, cream city brick was fashioned for any number of buildings that are now old," he said. "...Over the years, it has become valued because it's harder to find and harder to make."
Police told Bertram that this kind of vandalism is unusual for the area. The church is now focused on how to most effectively clean the vandalized wall, he said.