Priest appeals for return of stolen crosses

Three crucifixes were stolen from inside the church at Mary Magdalene in Lentegeur.

Oblate crosses, some more than 100 years old, and which have been passed down among priests from generation to generation, were stolen during a church service in Lentegeur yesterday. 

Father Jeremiah Gama, the parish priest at St Mary Magdalene Parish in Lentegeur, said his cross, which was among three that were stolen, had previously belonged to his own parish priest, a Belgian who had worked in South Africa for many years.

“He inspired me to become a priest,” Mr Gama said.

The crucifixes were stolen while mass was being celebrated at the parish on Tuesday February 19.

“After mass, we went to the sacristy to put away our cassocks and looked for the crosses and saw that they were gone,” he said. 

The crucifixes are given to Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) priests during the final phase of their formation. OMI is a missionary congregation within the Catholic Church.

Mr Gama has asked that the crosses be returned as they have immense sentimental value.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Jerome Voegt confirmed that the theft had taken place.

Anyone with information can call Lentegeur police on 021 377 5000.