The Diocese of Charlotte is calling for prayers and the safe return of a tabernacle containing the Eucharist stolen from St. Elizabeth Catholic Church Tuesday night.
The brass tabernacle (pictured below) was taken from behind the altar inside the church sometime after 9 p.m. Tuesday. Church staff discovered the theft Wednesday morning at about 9 a.m. and immediately alerted Boone police.
The Rev. Brendan Buckler, pastor, is appealing to those responsible to return the sacred hosts kept inside the tabernacle, if not the tabernacle itself. Catholics profess that the consecrated Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ, and stealing it is considered a desecration.
“We pray that your hearts may be moved to please return the tabernacle to us, but most especially the contents,” he said.
The church was open for Mass at 6 p.m. Tuesday, and the last person left the building around 9 p.m., the Rev. Buckler said.
The individual or individuals apparently entered through a window and did not take anything else or cause any damage, he said.
The tabernacle held a ciborium, or large cup, containing multiple consecrated hosts.
The Rev. Buckler is also asking people to pray and ask for reparation for the theft and the desecration of the church.
Anyone with information about the crime is urged to call the Boone Police Department at 828-268-6900.
Police Report Press Release “Crime Alert”
High Country Crime Stoppers and Boone Police seek the public’s assistance in solving the following crime:
During the nighttime hours of June 13, 2020 and June 14, 2020, an unknown person or persons entered multiple vehicles and took objects of value from vehicles throughout Boone’s jurisdictional boundaries. The following neighborhoods were targeted: Meadowview (Zeb Street), Kimberly Drive/Furman Road, and Highland Avenue/Wintergreen Lane areas.
The Boone Police Department is asking that anyone with surveillance cameras in those areas, please check the above time period for suspicious activity.
Anyone with information on this crime or any other crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 828-268-6959 / 828-737-0125 or the Boone Police Department at 828-268-6900. You may also submit a Crime Stoppers Tip via our website at https://www.tipsubmit.com/webtips.aspx?AgencyID=1251 or Text “NCTIP plus your tip” to 274637 (CRIMES). All information will be kept confidential.
High Country Crime Stoppers pays rewards for information, which leads to arrests; recovery of stolen property; seizure of drugs and the location of wanted persons.
High Country Crime Stoppers is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization operated by a volunteer community board of directors serving Avery and Watauga Counties. High Country Crime Stoppers encourages the reporting of information or leads which can assist law enforcement with solving crimes. Its goal is to help in the fight against crime, but it is not part of the local police departments or sheriff’s offices. Each County has a law enforcement coordinator who participates as an advisor to the board but is a non-voting member. The citizen’s board is responsible for operations of the program, fund raising, public relations, and approval of rewards.