It happened sometime during the night between March 25 and the morning of March 26. Thieves broke into St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Hydes, Maryland and stole the tabernacle. The tabernacle contained the Blessed Sacrament. Other items from the church were stolen as well, but Father Pete Literal said it is the theft of the Blessed Sacrament that is upsetting.
He told Catholic News Agency, “I am saddened that they took the tabernacle with the Holy Eucharist in it, which is appalling.”
The church does not have security cameras, so it is unclear how the thieves got into the church or how they left. The missing tabernacle, along with items such as the base of the processional cross, four candelabras, and six candle holders, was discovered when church leaders began prepping for Saturday morning Mass.
The parish broadcasted Stations of the Cross on March 25 through Facebook Live. The tabernacle can be seen in the video here. Sometime after the Stations of the Cross and the next morning is when the thieves broke in and stole the sacred objects and consecrated hosts.
The priest said he wants to urge the thieves to return the tabernacle and the Eucharist to the church. The church has placed another tabernacle in the place of the stolen one, but concern still lingers regarding the missing Blessed Sacrament.
The thieves appeared to have damaged one of the church doors and, according to CNA, could have caused an estimated $20,000 or more in damages. The greatest concern with the priest and parishioners is not the damage caused by the thieves, but the theft of such a sacred sacrament.
Theft of the Blessed Sacrament, tabernacles, and other religious items from Catholic parishes is not uncommon, particularly around holy seasons such as Easter and Christmas. A parish in Denver, Colorado was robbed of the tabernacle and several consecrated hosts at the end of August 2021. St. Elizabeth of the Hill Country Catholic Church, located in Boone, North Carolina, suffered the theft of the tabernacle and Blessed Sacrament inside in June 2020. It has frequently been asserted that satanists steal the Blessed Sacrament during holy seasons to use them during a Black Mass and other satanic ceremonies. Whether the thefts are attempts at monetary gain or for satanic reasons, it is an affront to the Lord Jesus, and we should all pray for the Eucharist to be returned to the church and to its proper place of honor.
History has also shown when the Eucharist has been stolen or improperly used, miracles have often taken place and resulted in the conviction of the thieves, as well as the returning of the Eucharist to its rightful place in the church. Let us all pray that the Lord does whatever is necessary to convict the thieves of their crime, their sins, and that they would repent. Let us pray for the return of the Sacred Sacrament.
Anyone with information regarding the theft of the tabernacle and Eucharist, as well as the other mentioned items, are urged to submit their tips to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tips can also be sent to the Baltimore County police using this form, or an anonymous tip can be sent using the Metro Crime Stoppers of Maryland Website.
The church is located at 13305 Long Green Pike in Hydes, Maryland.