Money stolen from Orthodox church in East Syracuse on Easter; priest says holy day’s joy undimmed

| April 6, 2010

East Syracuse, NY — The joy of Easter was not diminished by a theft Sunday morning at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church in East Syracuse, said Father John Philip McCaffery.

The congregation celebrated midnight mass the opening minutes of Sunday, McCaffery said. Members gathered together after the service for fellowship. The last person left the church, at 738 Franklin Park Drive, around 4 a.m., he figured.

About five hours later, McCaffery was called at home and told that DeWitt police had found a partially burned donation box nearby.

McCaffery said he was alarmed and worried the church might have been desecrated. Instead, he found the donation box was missing and a small amount of damage had been done. He was relieved, he said, that the iconography with which the church is adorned was not damaged.

McCaffery said the Easter mass is the most well-attended service of the year, but he said the “few hundred dollars” lost when the offering was stolen wasn’t considered a terrible loss to the church. “It made almost not even a ripple,” he said.

“I know personally people who celebrated Easter under communism, in communist jails,” McCaffery said. “Easter is a time of tremendous joy.”

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Category: Church Security

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