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LETTER: Church theft hurt cancer victims

To the Telegram: Last Sunday, during the middle of our Mass at St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Billings Park, we heard someone in the hall outside. When a parishioner went out to investigate the noise, he met a man 35-45 years old, long black hai...

To the Telegram:

Last Sunday, during the middle of our Mass at St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Billings Park, we heard someone in the hall outside. When a parishioner went out to investigate the noise, he met a man 35-45 years old, long black hair and beard who was looking around the church. He was asked what he was looking for, and he said he was waiting to talk to Father Hill. Our parishioner came back into the church service. A few minutes later, the outside door closed, and the man drove away in his maroon older 1980s boxy shaped car with a white vinyl roof. The car was full of young kids, maybe four or five, who appeared to be under the age of 10.

The money that had been donated by our small congregation over the past year was gone. It wasn't sitting out in plain view. It had been stored in the sacristy for safe keeping. Apparently this meant nothing to the man, who was seen by a number of people attending Sunday's service. It's not that we don't want to help those who need money for their families or in need of financial assistance because of shortfalls -- we do help those who request help. We do not like to be stolen from, and this was not the first time.

Last August, we believe this same person took what money we had saved in honor of a former member of our church, Ruthie Sola, who passed away from cancer. This money was donated for our church's participation in Relay For Life, which takes place this Friday-Saturday. We had well over $400 in our collection that was meant for the cancer fundraiser recognized across the nation.

Shame on you, whoever you are. When you stole that sum, you took more than money. You took our faith in good triumphing over evil, the trust one has in helping others so they may improve their lives; we feel violated. It has left a bitter taste in our mouths, knowing you have stolen from us twice. You went into a revered room this time to do your deed. You were in the room where the heart of our faith resides. From July 8th forward, there will be no chance for you to steal from us again.

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I hope you are never hit with cancer; it is an ugly disease, and it eats away at one's body. I realize $400 will not find the cure, but it would have helped.

-- Catherine Beebe and

Nancy Sanoski,

both of Superior

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