GRASS VALLEY --
Sunday will forever be a day etched into this community's collective memory for all the wrong reasons -a vicious attack on 78 year old Mary Grace Tassone, as she opened the doors of St. Patrick's church as she does every Sunday.
"Mary is known as Mary Grace and Grace says it all. She is just a giving, loving person," said neighbor Howard Levine.
Friends say from her presence at church to her work as a nurse at Sierra Nevada memorial hospital, where she delivered communion to patients, Mary Grace touched people's lives every day.
"This is just a really sad thing to happen in our neighborhood and our community," said Levine.
"It is odd, and we're treating it as a very very serious crime," said Police Lt. Alex Gammelgard.
Police say at 5:30 this morning A man approached Mary Grace, struck her, stole her car and left her on the sidewalk with severe head trauma. Police say it was nearly two hours before someone saw her and called 911.
"If we had immediate medical aid it possibly could've been more beneficial but at this point she is listed in critical condition," Gammelgard said.
"She was really truly a friend to all, she was just very very good," said St. Patrick's church parishioner Patrick Gerving.
Now this church community is left trying to remain positive in the face of tragedy.
"It's great sadness but its hope that Mary will be with us because we love her and we need her in our parish," said Sylvester Kwiatkowski, pastor of St. Patrick's parish.
Tassone remains in critical condition at Sutter Roseville Hospital. Friends and family are praying for a full recovery.
Police are asking the Grass Valley community to be on the lookout for Tassone's car, which her attacker stole. She drove a gray 2013 Honda Accord, license plate number 6ZHX462.