Belleville police recover stolen church artifact after alleged theft

Belleville police say a valuable artifact stolen from a local Catholic church has been returned after police put out a call for information about the theft.

Father Mark Ruckpaul, associate pastor for the Church of St. Michael the Archangel, whose church’s monstrance was allegedly stolen Tuesday night, spoke with Global News about the theft Wednesday.

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Belleville, Ont. church prays for return of stolen vessel containing Blessed Sacrament

“Whoever it was, might have been hanging out in this building and just went into the chapel when no one was there and pulled out the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament in it,” Ruckpaul said in an interview.

The monstrance that was stolen, according to Ruckpaul, is the church’s largest and most valuable vessel to hold the church’s eucharist. Ruckpaul said the item is worth about $5,000.

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According to police, after putting out information about the theft, officers took a second sweep of the area, hoping that whoever had taken it might have returned it.

A religious vessel, containing the Blessed Sacrament stolen in Belleville, Ont.

A religious vessel, containing the Blessed Sacrament stolen in Belleville, Ont.

Police believe that’s what happened, since the monstrance was found hidden in an area previously searched by investigating officers.

It’s still unclear who took the artifact, but police say the monstrance is now back in the church’s possession, who they say was grateful for its return.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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