Gardaí in Tramore are investigating the theft of antique silver and gold chalices and other sacramental treasures from Fenor Church in County Waterford on Hallowe’en night.
Parishioners were shocked at the news that thieves broke into the Church of the Immaculate Conception and took a safe containing two chalices, two ciboria (used to hold the host), and a monstrance.
Fr Paul Murphy PP said the “priceless and irreplaceable” pieces had been donated by parishioners over the centuries, he said, and they’re hugely anxious to get them back. As well as their sentimental value, new chalices can cost from several hundred up to thousands of euros.
The discovery was made when the sacristan arrived to prepare for mass on All Saints Day at around 9am. School children went up to attend the service but were unable to receive communion.
It’s understood that entry to the church – which has been broken into before, prompting improved security measures – was gained through a stained glass window. It’s thought the culprits may have thought there was cash in the safe, which, Fr Murphy stressed, is never the case.
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