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Thieves Steal Sacred Vessel Used To Conduct Mass

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The Roman Catholic Church’s St Andrew’s Parish in Kingsdale, Bulawayo, has been forced to suspend services after thieves stole sacred vessels used to conduct mass.

They stole ciboriums, which are considered the most important aspect of the catholic service. Ciboriums are goblet-shaped vessels for holding Eucharistic bread in Holy Communion.

The theft occurred just three weeks after armed robbers raided the same church and attacked its priest, forcing him to spend the night at the neighbouring Marianhill Institution, an organisation that houses Catholic priests.

Father Louis Chileshe, who heads the St Andrew’s Parish, said thieves ransacked his house, Parish Hall and the church, and stole vessels used to conduct mass.

“In the church we have instruments that we use for our church service called the mass. They stole all the chalices and ciboriums. These are the containers where we store sacred species and what we call the body and blood of Christ. They stole mass wine, candles and candle stands, among other things,” said Father Chileshe.

He said as a result of the theft, services would be suspended until the church has been cleansed.

“In the Catholic Church, for a parish to be considered operational, there is an act called consecration where the Bishop comes and blesses the place and declares it holy ground for worship.

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