For Your Safety and Our Security

The New Year didn’t start very happily for us because on Tuesday morning, January 2nd, at approximately 7:20 AM, a monstrance was stolen from the altar in the lower church. The Blessed Sacrament was not in the monstrance at the time. The police were called and they are investigating the theft.

As you are probably aware, security issues have risen over the past few years. We having been working hard to enhance the security and safety of our buildings and property with video surveillance and other measures. However, incidents like this are almost impossible to prevent because we cannot patrol every inch of the property at every moment.

We have decided to try to limit access to parts of the church when they are not in use.

Effective immediately, the lower church will be open only during the following hours:

Monday to Friday: 7:30 to 8:30 AM; 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM; 4:00 to 5:30 PM

Saturday: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 3:30 to 5:30 PM

Sunday: 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM and 4:00 to 5:30 PM

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will take place in the upper church Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 11:30 AM and 1:00 and 4:30 PM.

We regret having to put these measures into effect, but we are concerned about your safety as well as the security of our church and buildings. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation, and remember, if you see something, say something.


UPDATE:  Good News!!!

The Monstrance has been returned to the Church of St. Francis of Assisi!

This recovery we owe in large part to the power of social media.

The Diocese of Brooklyn posted about a monstrance that was found on the F Train in Brooklyn. Then Arrys Ortañez who saw our post about our stolen monstrance, posted a photo of the monstrance sitting in the MTA New York City Transit lost and found office. Because of these two posts, the monstrance was recovered safe and sound. The photo was taken after Fr. Andrew Reitz, our pastor, returned to the parish with the monstrance.

Thank you to everyone who expressed concern for the stolen monstrance. We pray for the troubled person who walked out of the church with it and hope that he receives the help he needs. We believe that the monstrance was taken by someone who is in need of care and assistance.

It is appropriate that we are all concerned for the precious objects that the Church uses in our liturgical and devotional life to worship God. And yet, we must remember, that the monstrance itself is of insignificant value compared to what it holds. It is is not in gold and jewels the the Lord remains with his people, but it is in humble bread and wine of the Eucharist that the Lord of Glory chooses to manifest Himself to and remain with his people.

Peace and all good to everyone.