Shock as Thieves Steal Vestments and Chalices
The priest of a Catholic parish in Itsoseng in Klerksdorp diocese is calling for prayers after thieves broke in and stole items from the church.
Unknown persons broke into the church of the Holy Spirit in Itsoseng near Lichtenburg. The criminals had accessed the parish by breaking a small window, and once inside took the parish sound system, altar server vestments, and two chalices.
“I was away at a diocesan retreat when parishioners phoned me to tell me what had happened. I was both saddened and disappointed to hear the news,” said Comboni Father Thulani Manana, the parish’s priest-in-charge.
According to Fr Manana, the thieves used church keys which they found inside to unlock the doors, and then remove the stolen goods.
This is the second break-in in Klerksdorp diocese in the past two years. The previous burglary was at St Peter’s Parish in Jouberton.
Fr Manana said he has little faith that the South African Police Service will apprehend the burglars.
Police had promised to come to the church to investigate, he said, but “we are still waiting”.
According to Fr Manana, parishioners who are now doing their own investigation suspect people from within the church might have been involved in the break-in, and are following up on leads.
“We are carrying on as normal, but we do need to do some repairs as the break-in resulted in minor property damage to the window and external doors,” he said.
“Updating our security is also of the utmost importance at the moment, and we are looking at installing burglar bars on all the window, and safety gates to the doors,” Fr Manana added.
Bishop Victor Phalana of Klerksdorp had just visited the parish a few days before and had had a meeting with the parish pastoral council.
“I was devastated to hear that such an incident had taken place so soon after my visit,” the bishop said.
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