Thieves rob chalices from Mission church

Gold and silver chalices and a cross with a saint’s bone embedded in it were stolen from a Catholic church in the Mission earlier this week, police said today.

A priest at St. Anthony of Padua Church at 3215 Cesar Chavez St. discovered the theft Tuesday morning when he found a cable securing the rear door had been cut, police said.

The thieves damaged the tabernacle in the church and stole items from inside it, including the chalices and cross. The theft is thought to have occurred some time between around 10:30 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. Tuesday, according to police.

Office manager Rosario Haro said the thief or thieves stole three chalices and a bass guitar, as well as the cross, and broke the locks on the church door and on the area where the items were stored.

The chalices were old and will be difficult to replace, although they were insured. The relic, though, was “priceless,” Haro said:

“It’s very upsetting. … It’s so sad because you can’t get those replaced.”

Haro said the burglary was unusual for the church, and so far they have no idea who did it.