Community helps rebuild church after thieves vandalize it, steal tabernacle

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Many people pitched in to help rebuild a Los Angeles church after it was vandalized and had a revered tabernacle stolen months ago.

In July, thieves broke into St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church on Pico Boulevard. The suspects broke everything that got in their way and stole precious items, including a gold plated tabernacle.

"I was so, so sorry because I didn't believe that these kind of things can happen," Father Galaviz said. "The tabernacle is Jesus Christ living there. That is why it is an offense against the faith."

Months later, there is still no sign of the tabernacle, which is a fixed, locked box that houses the Eucharist. Concerned community members contacted Eyewitness News using #abc7eyewitness in the hopes that someone will come forward.

The community members also helped to rebuild the damaged church.

Geo Rhodes, a local artist, donated his time and art work to the church. He also plans to build a special altar designed to stop thieves from stealing another tabernacle.

Galaviz said all he wants is for those responsible for stealing the precious church item to listen to his plea.

"(Whomever did this) to return our items because they are very sacred to us," he said.
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