Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thieves Steal Tabernacle (And the Eucharist) From New Orleans Church

Ughh. I doubt very seriously these thieves were Catholic (WE HOPE). Can you imagine if laterin life this thief convert to the faith and in their first Confession they mention this. I imagine FATHER HAS NOT HEARD THAT ONE.

Anyway the the New Orleans Catholic paper has the story and pics located here. You can also download it at Tabernacle Stolen From St Gabriel the Archangel/

Here is the text

In post-Katrina New Orleans, copper thieves have made a tidy living ripping out pipes, gutters and wiring from homes and businesses, often in broad daylight, and turning the metal into quick

The cash-and-carry underworld, which feasts on anything not bolted down, stooped to a new low last week by carting off a small, brass tabernacle from the daily Mass chapel at St. Gabriel
the Archangel Church in Gentilly.

The tabernacle, light enough for one person to carry, contained about 30 consecrated
hosts, said Msgr. Doug Doussan,pastor of St. Gabriel. After discovering tabernacle missing
before morning Mass on Dec. 1, Msgr. Doussan drove around the neighborhood looking in bushes to see if the thief might have discarded any of the hosts that were inside a brass ciborium.

Lost Eucharist

“I’m relatively sure that whoever took the tabernacle did not know that what was inside the tabernacle was more valuable than the tabernacle itself,” Msgr. Doussan said. “They probably had no sensitivity to what this was about.”

A series of events made the tabernacle theft easier. Because St. Gabriel Church is undergoing a major remodeling, daily Mass is celebrated in a temporary chapel in a building next to the church, and Sunday Mass is celebrated at 10 a.m. in the main church after the church is cleaned of construction dust on Saturday. Msgr. Doussan decided to use the smaller, lighter repository
tabernacle – made of bronze with a gold finish – so that it could be brought back and forth more easily.

The church’s regular tabernacle had a problem with its lock, and it was too heavy to move
between the two locations. In addition to the tabernacle, the thieves took the pedestal on which the tabernacle rested and four rosaries on a nearby credence table that “looked expensive but
weren’t,” the pastor said.

Msgr. Doussan contacted the police and archdiocesan authorities immediately. He was able to find a picture of the tabernacle and hoped that its distribution might caution scrap metal or antiques dealersto be on the lookout for it.

“The police think they would try to bring it to one of those antiques shops on Magazine Street and try to sell it,” Msgr. Doussan said. “I’ve never experienced a tabernacle
being stolen before, whether it was with or without the Eucharist inside. I’m pretty confident this wasn’t done in connection with any cult or anything like that.”

Help from other churches

Within a few days, St. Gabriel received the donation of two tabernacles – one made
of wood that came from the former chapel at Ave Maria Retreat House and the other
from the Tulane Catholic Center.

The church remodeling, which is about 80 percent done, is scheduled to be finished in time for a rededication Mass on Feb. 8, 2009.

The church will host a reconciliation service Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. with the theme of reparation for the harm done to the Body of Christ – both through desecration of the Eucharist and harm to the
mystical Body of Christ by attacks on the poor and the needy.

“I think there’s a chance we might find the tabernacle and maybe even the ciborium, but
I can’t imagine we would find the Eucharist,” Msgr. Doussan said. “I think they would have
just dumped the Eucharist

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