Tabernacle desecrated, consecrated hosts stolen from Costa Rica church 

Communion Wafers Credit Episcopal Diocese via Flickr CC BY 20 CNA Communion Wafers. | Episcopal Diocese via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

A church in northern Costa Rica was desecrated Oct. 19 when unknown vandals broke open a tabernacle and stole consecrated hosts and various liturgical objects, reported the Diocese of Ciudad Quesada.

“In the early hours of the morning, caretakers of the St. Rose of Lima Parish, Pocosol, noticed that sound equipment, sacred vessels, and a monstrance had been stolen,” said a statement from the diocese published Oct. 19.

“The tabernacle was forced open and consecrated hosts were taken,” the statement said.

The parish priest, Father Geison Gerardo Ortiz Marín, will carry out an act of reparation, which consists of a prayer of reparation, on Oct. 22 in the parish.

The diocese reported that a complaint was filed Wednesday with the authorities.

“Trusting in almighty God and in the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, we remain united in prayer,” the statement concluded.

In a statement to ACI Prensa, Ortiz said that these “circumstances are not easy to digest, because they affect the faith and security that one believes one has.”

“I believe that after such events no community is ever the same. This puts us on the alert and demands from all of us a greater commitment to evangelization, since we are all worthy of mercy,” he added.

Ortiz is known locally and internationally for working three or four days a week as a baker in his parish community in order to raise funds for charity.

The priest said that the “community will recover because the items can be restored.” 

However, he said that what “has hit us all the most has been not knowing what happened to the sacred hosts.”

“Although this is a disappointment, we trust in the goodness of God and ask for the conversion of those who had the audacity to enter the sanctuary and cause the robbery to be committed. I pray to God and I ask the faithful that we do not stop praying for all those involved in this crime,” he continued.

On Oct. 20 the parish community participated in a Holy Hour “in reparation for the offenses against Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.”

“And on Saturday we will do the act of reparation in a solemn Mass at 3:30 p.m. together with the community,” the priest said.

Finally, Ortiz recalled that “God’s love is much greater than the crimes committed.“

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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