reflections, updates and homilies from Deacon Mike Talbot inspired by the following words from my ordination: Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach...
Sunday, June 28, 2020
A disgusting crime against a New Orleans Catholic Church
Thieves steal chalices, crucifixes from Uptown's St. Francis of Assisi Church
Someone stole chalices, crucifixes and other religious objects from St. Francis of Assisi while the Uptown Catholic Church was left open for private prayer on Saturday afternoon, an Archdiocese of New Orleans spokeswoman said Sunday.
The spokeswoman, Sarah McDonald, said the New Orleans Police Department is investigating the theft after church leaders filed a report.
Thieves went into the sacristy of the church in the 600 block of State Street and took various sacred objects, including chalices, ciboria and crucifixes, according to McDonald. McDonald said she couldn’t comment on the objects’ total value.
Chalices and ciboria — the plural of the Latin word “ciborium” — are vessels which hold the unleavened bread and wine that Catholic priests give to parishioners at Masses. During Communion, under a doctrine known as transubstantiation, Catholics believe the bread and the wine cease to be that and instead become the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ, making the vessels that hold each objects to be revered.
McDonald said the thieves did not damage the building housing St. Francis, and the church is secured. Authorities have not named any suspects in the case.
The theft did not prevent St. Francis from holding its weekly Sunday morning mass the following day. Many in New Orleans’ Catholic Community learned about the church’s stolen objects when a man describing himself as a fifth-generation parishioner asked people to keep an eye out for them in case someone tries to fence them at antique stores or pawn shops.
"I found it extremely hard to see the empty alcove on the main altar this morning without its gold crucifix that has been in place for 99+ years,” the post read. “Everything is of course replaceable, but these items represent generations of sacraments, families, pastors and faith.
“Please pray for our parish and especially for those who committed these crimes.”