Two Pennsylvania churches, which were robbed over the holiday weekend, have reached out to the burglars in prayer.
On Christmas day, thieves broke into Mount St. Peter Roman Catholic Church in New Kensington and stole $5,000 and two cameras, according to New Kensington Police.
A nearby church, The United Presbyterian Church of New Kensington, was also broken into last week. These thieves made off with $500, some copper pipe and laptops, according to sources.
Instead of responding in anger to the crimes committed against them, leaders from both churches have chosen to prayer for the crooks. They directed their anger towards the conditions that led the thieves to break into a church on Christmas day.
“We’re not angry at them…we’re angry at the conditions that make it possible for people like these perpetrators to feel it would take a crime to meet their needs,” Rev. Colin Yuckman of The United Presbyterian Church said.
He feels that churches have a mission to help people and both churches are trying to do that.
Monsignor Michael J. Begolly, pastor for Mount St. Parish Church also prayed for the thieves, during The Feast of St. Stephen on Monday, according to sources.
“Stephen followed the example of Christ and prayed for his persecutors as they were stoning him to death,” Begolly said. “We are praying for those who broke in on
Christmas and are saddened that for some, their lives are so desperate that they would break into a church on Christmas day.”
Police say they have a person of interest, but no one has been arrested yet for the burglary. New Kensington police Detective Dino DiGiacobbe said the break-in occurred after midnight Mass ended. Thieves broke into the churches through the windows. Authorities don’t believe anybody connected with the church was involved in the robberies.
“There’s a lot of people out there who live this life of crime,” New Kensington Police Chief Ron Zellers told reporters. “The church feeds the hungry. They help the homeless. You know, they’re there for people in need and to have something like this happen is just very sad.”