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Tabernacle Stolen When Md. Church Is Vandalized

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NORTH EAST, Md. (AP) — A Catholic church congregation in North East is planning a reconsecration service after vandals made off with a $2,000 brass tabernacle and caused $8,000 in damage to the building.

The crime occurred late Sunday or early Monday at St. Jude Mission Church. A worker on Monday saw several doors had been damaged. The Rev. Joseph J. Piekarski, the pastor, arrived to find the tabernacle, which houses the Eucharist, was missing. With the Eucharist gone, the church is considered desecrated and cannot hold services.

Piekarski notified the Diocese of Wilmington, Del., of which the church is a member, and officials there contacted the Vatican.

On Friday, a reconsecration service will offer penance in atonement and have the church ready in time for Sunday services.

Police have no suspects in the crime.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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