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Stolen tabernacle returned to Old Town church

Tessa Mentus
April 26, 2017 10:21 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Thou shall not steal. The Eighth Commandment is pretty cut and dry. It must have slipped someone's mind recently when a tabernacle was stolen from San Felipe de Neri Church in Old Town.

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But church leaders said Wednesday their prayers for the tabernacle's return have been answered. This Easter miracle, as Father Andrew Pavlak puts it, started with a phone call.

"I got a call from someone that said, 'I have your things," he said. "I said, 'Excuse me?'"

Pavlak took a trip to the South Valley where he said he met a nervous person who convinced the thief to hand over the tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament inside.

"And I thanked the person very much and said, 'Well, why do you think the person that you know took this?'" Pavlak said. "And he said, 'Well, they were really intoxicated, really drunk.'"

It's a story of faith and forgiveness. Pavlak is not going to press charges against whoever stole the tabernacle. Instead, he's going to pray for them.

"We have to be a people who understand," he said. "People make mistakes, and so I am not releasing the name of the person who called me. I don't know the person who took this. I said that's not important. What's important is the fact that it's back and the people who did this really do feel remorseful and we can still be praying for that person."

Pavlak said the church will use money donated to replace the tabernacle, which is worth about $4,000, to buy security cameras. At the time of the theft, the only security measure at the church was a door with a code. Pavlak said that code will change as well.

Credits

Tessa Mentus

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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