Our Lady of the Rosary Church burgled in Karuah

The exterior of Karuah’s Our Lady of the Rosary Church. Photo: Catholic Diocese of Maitland and Newcastle.

PARISHIONERS in and around Karuah were heartbroken to discover their Church had been burgled and religious artefacts stolen, when they arrived for weekly congregation service on the morning of Sunday, 12 November.

At 8:30am, churchgoers noticed that their key religious items, the tabernacle and the crucifix, were both removed from their formal resting places within Our Lady of the Rosary Church on Tarean Road, and they now fear for the fate of their sacred pieces.

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“We discovered the crucifix had been discarded between two sheds on the grounds, but the figure of Christ upon it, which was made of plaster, had been smashed from the waist down,” Julie-Gay Smith, Team Leader for Karuah within the Myall Coast Catholic Parish, told NOTA.

“The tabernacle, however, is still missing, it is a heavy metal container and holds the eucharist, so I am not sure what anybody else would want to do with it.

“We are all very upset that this could happen.

“If somebody recognises it, or knows anything about its whereabouts, we just pray that they contact the Police and help to get it returned.”

Ms Smith noted that the key to the tabernacle was left untouched, and the prevailing theory, in lieu of any harder evidence, is that some form of desecration was the criminals’ intended aim.

The theft and vandalism of any property is a crime, punishable to the full extent of the law, and the matter is currently in the hands of the NSW Police, who have conducted forensic examinations, but were not available for comment at time of writing.

Two years ago, the Church’s nativity scene was smashed and broken up, its mannequins were dismembered, a source of great upset to churchgoers and locals alike.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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