Police are looking for burglars who allegedly broke into a Kauai church for the second time in three weeks.
The latest burglary at Sacred Heart Mission Church, 2626 Melemele Road in Eleele, was discovered around 2 p.m. Friday when a parishioner discovered all the doors had been opened. Four glass louvers from the rear jalousie window were removed and muddy shoe prints were left on the counter below the window.
Carole Nacion said she was dropping off copies of the church bulletin for Sunday Mass when she discovered the break-in. All the cabinets and drawers were open and linens and communion plates were strewn on the floor. Damage to the church includes broken locks to the kitchen door, closet and cabinets. An extra set of keys kept in the church was also missing.
"It’s really a shock. When you desecrate a church, it’s very personal," said Nacion, who attends Mass there every Sunday. She is also parish secretary for Holy Cross Church.
There have been no arrests.
The burglary is believed to have occurred sometime between Dec. 7 and Friday morning. The church isn’t staffed daily, said Nacion. The custodian was at the site Dec. 7 doing work around the property, but didn’t observe anything unusual.
Church members said five ciboriums and chalices used for sacramental wine and wafers during the Eucharist were missing Friday but discovered outside a day later near the church’s stone wall.
On Nov. 22, the same church was broken into after an intruder broke a louver from a side window to gain entry, but nothing was taken.
"To be burglarized is bad, but to be desecrated is worse and that’s what makes the hearts of the Catholic faithful here sad and in pain," said the Rev. Edison V. Pamintuan, pastor of Holy Cross and Sacred Heart.
About 200 parishioners attend Sunday Mass at Sacred Heart.
Anyone with information about the burglary is urged to call police dispatch at 241-1711 or CrimeStoppers at 241-1887.