News St. Joseph — 19 June 2014
Items stolen from the Catholic Church

by Cori Hilsgen

The Catholic Church recently experienced a robbery. Items taken include an old monstrance, a set of handbells and a microphone.

Pastor Jerome Tupa said the monstrance is valued at around $11,000, the hand bells at between $10,000-$14,000 and the microphone $150-$200.

The items were noticed missing June 3. The monstrance, which is used to display the consecrated Eucharist host during adoration or benediction, is at least 50 years old or more. The parish has had the choir bells about 20 years. Both items were kept in a locked cabinet in the front sacristy. The monstrance is in a large black case, weighs at least 25 pounds and the case about five pounds. The bells are kept in three black cases and weigh around 35-45 pounds.

“These items are precious heirlooms of the parish because of their beauty and also how they enhance our liturgies,” Tupa said in an email.

Because of the weight of the items, the thieves had to be strong enough to carry them for a distance. They also must have been familiar with the church to know where the items were stored.

Tupa did not think anything else was touched or disturbed.

Tupa thought disposing of the items would not be easy for thieves. The monstrance is ornate and would most likely cause people to question it. It does not contain gems or precious metal such as gold or silver. The bells are heavy and made of solid metal. They are finely tuned and would only be valuable to certain buyers.

A police report has been filed and they are investigating the matter.

contributed photo
The 50-year-old monstrance taken from the Church of St. Joseph.

contributed photo
Handbells taken from the Church of St. Joseph.


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About Author

Cori Hilsgen
Cori Hilsgen Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor's degree from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people's stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.

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