Following the thefts donations quickly poured in to replace the lost items. Bishop Barnes praised the parish for coming together as a community.
“From what I have been told, the community has been strengthened from this robbery,” he said. “ You have gone to even forgive the person and tried to better the situation of the community.”
In his homily, Bishop Barnes challenged the parish to not dwell on the negative, but to use this event as a way to improve the community.
“The robbing and destruction of your tabernacle, for us Catholics, is a major concern,” Bishop Barnes said. “We need to take what has happened here and bring about something good. Don’t let the bad keep us down. Glorify the Lord by taking this experience and renewing your faith in him.”
The parish took the opportunity to not only witness the blessing of the tabernacle, but also to recognize the good work being done by its parishioners. Following the blessing of the tabernacle, monstrance and ciborium, Bishop Barnes also blessed items to be given to parish leaders and volunteers in recognition of their devotion to their ministries.
“We celebrate our ministers, parishioners and city leaders,” said Laura Lopez, pastoral coordinator at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. “We express our gratitude for their continued service, commitment and generosity to God for the good of our parish and city.”
At the closing of the Mass, parishioners welcomed the newly assigned priest minister Father Kien Kieu, who was ordained in May, and presented him with a chasuble.