by Megan Schiffres
KILMARNOCK—A valuable ceremonial object called a monstrance, also known as an ostensorium, was reportedly stolen from the St. Frances de Sales Catholic Church in Kilmarnock.
The monstrance is an ornamental vessel used in Catholic churches to display the symbolic body of Christ, called the Eucharist, during Eucharistic adoration or Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
The stolen monstrance is made of sterling silver with a gold inlay, is insured and is valued at over $20,000 by the church, according to Kilmarnock police chief Michael Bedell.
“The church has had one there for over 30 years,” said Bedell. “It was needing to be refurbished and hadn’t been used in quite a few years because it had been replaced.”
Because the monstrance was replaced over a decade ago, the timeline for its theft is unclear, said Bedell. Police are monitoring local and regional pawn shops in case someone tries to sell it, but they aren’t hopeful.
“I don’t believe it’s going to show up at a pawn shop. Not something of that spiritual nature,” Bedell said.
Representatives of St. Frances de Sales Catholic Church declined to comment. The investigation is ongoing.