CINDY THE SACRISTAN...
Cindy cleaning up after burglars and vandals...
Worst news from St Michael's this week, was a break-in. A burglar, thief or desperate person, chose the cover of darkness to force a door of the church in the middle of the night. Very little money is kept in the church itself but that was gone. A full jar of coffee was also missing from the church kitchen, so obviously our thief is a coffee drinker.
This incident really stirred the possum amidst the cold frosty August mornings this week.
As the regular morning Mass parishioners arrived huddled in thick coats and scarves, their shocked faces said everything.
"How could anyone possibly do a thing like this?"
It was naturally assumed the thief was a male!
Fortunately Fr Cunning discovered the break-in himself. The lock on the door had been forced open with a chisel. Some money was missing from the Piety Stall and some $2 coins from sales of the Diocesan Magazine (most parishioners no longer purchase this fortnightly magazine due to its lack of interesting articles, there is obviously heavy censorship upon its content).
The very thought that a thief had invaded our sacred space left a horrid feeling in the pit of the tummies. People kept asking Cindy for more details and she patiently explained.
"I know nothing," with a shrug of the shoulder.
Why do people always assume that Cindy knows more than anyone else about the goings on at St Michael's?
It appears, for unknown reasons, Fr C did not report the robbery to the police. One has to wonder just how far should our Christian charity extend? We prayed for the poor soul of the thief at Mass, seeking God's mercy upon him, realizing we were the ones who needed to be forgiving!
When Cindy went home, the church robbery seemed almost humorous. She looked around her own home with little piles of books and papers and kids and toys. She surveyed the unwashed dishes in the sink; the pile of soiled clothes in the laundry; the ironing waiting for attention and the crumbs on the kitchen floor. Cindy decided if a thief came to her place he would possibly leave again straight away thinking the house had already been 'done over'.
Funnily, Cindy and her team go to great lengths to keep St Michael's always looking clean and welcoming. They never leave before straightening the hymnbooks, trimming the candles, tidying the newsletters, wiping the oil line out of the Baptismal Font. They always seem to find one more thing to do in the church. They really enjoy knowing the church is spotless and clean. However, unfortunately that is not necessarily the situation in their homes!!
It will be interesting to see if Fr Cunning tells the parishioners on Sunday anything about the break-in. Normally he tends not to tell the regulars anything that might upset them. I suppose he thinks they all have enough problems of their own at home without coming to church and hearing about more troubles. The last time we had a burglary, Father's lap top computer had been stolen from the presbytery. How low can a thief go, one might ask?
About fifteen years ago, the Mass bells were stolen in a robbery. Taken in broad daylight no less. A plea was put out for the safe return of the bells. Mysteriously they were found, unharmed, by the side of the local railway line two weeks later.
Then about ten years ago, St Michael's had a 'phantom crapper'. Around 2 weeks apart, human excreta was found in a dark stairwell in the church. This led to the idea that maybe someone had been hiding in the church at lock up time and sleeping overnight.
On one occasion when Cindy locked the church at night, a man wildly swinging a syringe around came lurching out of the Confessional room. Cindy held her nerve and suggested he leave quietly which he did. The Phantom Crapper was never found and who knows how many desperate and homeless people hide overnight and find shelter in our churches?
Cindy has been laid low all week with a nasty virus. Only one more week of First Communions then St Michael's can return to a form of normality as Fr Cunning prepares for his Annual Leave. While the cat is away, will the mice play????
Cindy — still hoping to contact Molly for that drink!
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