The decree, issued by Bishop Roberto Mallari of the Diocese of San Jose, was for the loss by thievery of a mon – strance at the church’s adoration chapel.
Mallari’s decree was issued after Fr. Tito Maratas, chaplain of the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Chaplaincy in CLSU reported that the monstrance held the consecrated host, which Cath – olic belief holds as the very “Body of Christ,” was discovered missing last May 26.
It may have been stolen in the evening of May 25, Maratas said.
A monstrance is a vessel in which a consecrated host is placed for eucharistic adora tion by the faithful. The vessel was inside the adoration chapel at the back of the church. In his letter to Maratas, the bishop said the theft of the monstrance with the host in it was a “serious offense of sacrilege and desecration com mitted by the thief”. He said acts of the decreed reparation “to atone for the serious sin of committed against the Lord’ must be carried out.
The reparations includ – ed the closure of the church and the adoration chapel from May 29 to June 29, 2016; pro – cession by the community on barefoot on Sundays during the period while doing the Stations of the Cross; and praying of the rosary from the first day of the implementation of the act of reparation until the last day.
The bishop also encouraged the Catholic faithful in the chaplaincy to do a diligent search for the missing mon strance and continue pray – ing to enlighten the mind of the thief that “the one inside the monstrance is not simply bread (host) but it is the Lord”.
The shining monstrance may have been thought by the thief, according to a member of the security force, as made of gold or other precious mate – rial but was only gold-plated. It may not cost much in the mar – ket, he said.
Maratas said he would be holding Sunday and daily Masses in the social hall of the church. The Sunday proces – sions, after the morning Mass, will be along the main roads of the residential houses and dormitories on the CLSU cam – pus, he added.
Churchgoers last Sunday were surprised to find out that their church was closed and the Mass was to be held in a social hall.