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BOONE, North Carolina, June 22, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― Parishioners at St. Elizabeth of the Hill Country Catholic Church were devastated by the news that thieves had stolen their tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament inside.

“The Eucharist is the center of the life of all Catholics, and we are devastated that our Lord was taken from the sanctuary of our parish church. In a very real way, God himself was taken from us last week, just after we completed the celebration of [the octave of] Corpus Christi,” cantor Matthew Mellon told LifeSiteNews today by email.

Mellon said the tabernacle was stolen from the Boone, North Carolina church between the evening Mass celebrated on Tuesday, June 16 and the arrival of parish staff the following morning. He fears that the Blessed Sacrament was stolen for occult rituals.

“Our parishioners are heartbroken,” he stated in an earlier email.

“I dare speculate that the thief had demonic intentions because many lighter valuable items were passed over, including a jeweled monstrance, in the sanctuary.”

Police were notified and are asking for anyone with security footage of the area to come forward. Anyone with information about the crime should call Crime Stoppers at (828) 268-6959 / (828) 737-0125 or the Boone Police Department at (828) 268-6900.

A message posted to St. Elizabeth’s website stated that the thief or thieves seem to have climbed in through a window “and did not take anything else or cause any damage.”

“We are calling for prayers and the safe return of the Blessed Sacrament,” the author wrote.

“We pray that the hearts of those responsible may be moved to return the tabernacle to us, but most especially the Blessed Sacrament,” the author continued. “Please pray and offer reparation for the desecration of the church and the theft of the Blessed Sacrament.”

On Thursday night, Father Brendan Buckler presided over a Holy Hour with Adoration and Benediction so that parishioners could offer reparation on the thief or thieves’ behalf. The Mass celebrating the Feast of the Sacred Heart on Friday was well attended.

Matthew Mellon made the following plea: “I know this is probably futile, but if the person who removed the tabernacle reads these words, I beg you to return the contents of this tabernacle to any Catholic church.”

He told LifeSiteNews that his parish community is “saying a novena of prayers in reparation to the Sacred Heart and many rosaries in hope that the Lord will be returned to a sanctuary unharmed.”

Theft of the Blessed Sacrament is a regular occurrence, LifeSiteNews was told last year by exorcist Fr. Chad Ripperger. In May of 2019, LifeSiteNews discovered nine consecrated hosts for sale on the handicraft site The vendor stated on the website that the hosts were “to abuse for classic black fairs or black magic purposes.”

Fr. Ripperger assured LifeSiteNews that although God is offended by the abuse of the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord does not personally suffer.

“According to the theologians, Doctors of the Church and saints, in the Eucharist we only act upon the accidents of the Bread and not on the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord,” he explained. “Therefore, He does not suffer when something physically happens to the accidents of the Bread.” 

The Catholic Church teaches that during the consecration of the Mass, the Eucharistic wafers become the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ while retaining only the sensory elements (i.e., accidents) of bread.

To add your prayers to those of the parishioners of St. Elizabeth of the Hill Country Catholic Church in Boone, North Carolina, please see here the Novena of the Seven Penitential Psalms in reparation for the profanation of the Blessed Sacrament.

A tabernacle identical to the one stolen from St. Elizabeth.