Eucharist and tabernacle stolen from North Carolina Catholic Church

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 18, 2020 / 02:18 pm (CNA).- Police are appealing to the public for help and a parish is requesting prayers after a tabernacle containing the Eucharist was stolen from a church in Boone, North Carolina on June 16.

“We are calling for prayers and the safe return of the Blessed Sacrament after the tabernacle was stolen from the church Tuesday night,” said a message posted on the website of Saint Elizabeth of the Hill Country Catholic Church.

The parish said the theft occurred “sometime after 9 p.m. Tuesday night,” and that the thief entered the church through a window.

Nothing apart from the tabernacle was stolen or damaged, said the parish.

“Please pray and offer reparation for the desecration of the church and the theft of the Blessed Sacrament,” the statement said.

Fr. Brendan Buckler, pastor of St. Elizabeth’s, appealed to the thief in a statement.

“We pray that your hearts may be moved to please return the tabernacle to us, but most especially the contents,” said Buckler in a statement provided to CNA by the Diocese of Charlotte.

The parish will hold a Holy Hour of Reparation on Thursday night.

Masses at the church on Wednesday and Thursday were canceled. The parish website states that prayers of reparation must be done before Mass can resume at the church.

The tabernacle is described as being approximately two feet tall and one foot wide, and is made of brass. The tabernacle contained a ciborium, which contains the Eucharist.

Police are requesting anyone who lives near the church to examine any surveillance footage that may have captured the thief.

No other churches in the area have experienced thefts or vandalism.

The Diocese of Charlotte declined to comment to CNA about a possible motive for the theft, and directed CNA to contact the Boone Police Department. The Boone Police Department has not yet responded to questions from CNA.

This is the second time in recent months that St. Elizabeth’s has made headlines.

In April, a parishioner reportedly made claims to the local health department that the pastor at St. Elizabeth’s had celebrated Mass on Easter Sunday with more than 10 people, in apparent violation of public health norms.

The parishioner, Karen James, told the National Catholic Reporter that she had counted 22 people enter the church building, which, she said, prompted her to call the local health department. James also voiced her objections to the priest’s celebration of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, which is celebrated in the parish in addition to the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, offered in both English and Spanish.

The parish said the Easter Mass was celebrated privately, and in conformity with both diocesan norms and health regulations.


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  1. “The parishioner, Karen James, told the National Catholic Reporter that she had counted 22 people enter the church building, which, she said, prompted her to call the local health department.”

    Seriously, her name is “Karen?” *Surely* someone made that up!

  2. From my era we think more “Gladys Kravitz”… a nosy busy-body type. What business is it of hers HOW many people entered the church? A typical Cathoic Church can easily hold 500 peopl, often many more 50 or 100 would have posed no problem. A control freak from the sound of it. I hope somebody tracks down who stole this tabernacle and Eucharist.. What a horrific act of hate. But then with no police able to do their jobs, what would we expect but the obvious decline of Western Civilization??

  3. Historically, in several European countries where social, civil and political unrest took place along with a perceived threat to the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, Dioceses encouraged Parishes to form what was to become known as the Fraternity of the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist. In decades long past, they were formed by men only, usually retired from the Armed Forces, or who had defence knowledge. These fraternities were charged with the task of maintaining a guard to the Blessed Sacrament and the Tabernacle itself at all times.

    They often had a shift rota split into 4 shifts daily, or when that was not possible, 3 shifts daily, the last shift of the day was in charge of removing the Blessed Sacrament and take it home, leaving the Tabernacle door open, until next morning. The first morning shift would pick up the Blessed Sacrament from the relevant address and return it to the Tabernacle, beginning the first shift of the day.

    Almost every Parish used to have one such Fraternity, in several European Countries.

    It might be a good idea to re-establish that tradition once more.

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