Stained-glass medallion stolen from North Branch cemetery

| July 28, 2017 | 0 Comments

A stained-glass medallion worth $2,000 and made by a St. Gregory the Great parishioner has been stolen from the St. Joseph Cemetery in North Branch.

A stained-glass medallion has been stolen from St. Joseph Cemetery in North Branch since July 24. Loretta McBride, a parishioner of St. Gregory the Great in North Branch, made the stained-glass medallion. Courtesy St. Gregory the Great

“I cry when I think about it,” said Loretta McBride, 77, who made the 30-and-a-half inch medallion for a cemetery sign around 12 years ago. “I know people do bad things and a lot worse than stealing … our cemetery’s things. It’s bad.”

She learned the news July 25 after counting the Sunday collection for the parish. St. Gregory the Great pastor Father Mark Shane Wasinger first discovered it missing July 24. Parish administrative assistant Barbara Schleicher filed a report with the North Branch Police Department.

“Everyone’s shocked,” Father Wasinger said.

An open hole remains in the wooden cemetery sign, which welcomed people to the parish’s meditation garden. The sign states, “All are welcome for prayer, reflection and rest” and “to honor our deceased loved ones and for our heart to reach for our heavenly home.” The medallion in the sign showed a pair of open hands with a dove flying above with ribbons going across a blue sky. It had been neatly removed by prying.

McBride, who has made other stained-glass pieces, first saw the medallion’s image in a book she received from her daughter. Patrick McBride, Loretta’s husband, encouraged her to make a stained glass art piece for the cemetery when he saw it.

“It really can’t be replaced, because it’s not so much about the money [it costs]; it’s about what it was for,” said Father Basinger, because it was handmade.

The sign pointed people to a gazebo in a prayer area for cemetery visitors. The gazebo surrounds a statue of Jesus with children, which was not tampered with in the incident.

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Local News