Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

A parish saddened by the theft of its bell

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The bell of the church of St. Christophers Parish, Whitefish, stood on this external support.

  • Francis Bouchard (View profile)Francis Bouchard

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Parishioners in the community of Whitefish, Greater Sudbury, experience a sense of loss after their church bell was stolen

The disappearance of the A bronze bell, 120 years old and weighing approximately 180 kilograms, was discovered on Sunday morning, when they wanted to ring it before the 9 a.m. mass, like every week.

The president of the volunteer parish council, Ernie Heerschap, explains that it was in an easily accessible structure outside the church.

At first, people were in shock. Afterward, they were upset and a little stunned that someone would go to such an effort to take the bell.

A quote from Ernie Heerschap, president of the St. Christophers Parish Council in Whitefish

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The theft is believed to have occurred overnight during the preceding days.

Traces in the snow indicated someone with a van or a Another vehicle had backed up and charged it, Heerschap said, noting that it would have taken a few people to lift the bell and move it.

Ernie Heerschap says the bell had been at the Whitefish church since it was built in the early 1960s.

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But it was made in 1902 at the McShane Foundry in Maryland, USA, before being sent to a church in Victoria Mine, near Sudbury, until that community was closed in the late 1950s.< /p>

She was named Maria after she was made.

Mr. Heerschap believes it was stolen to resell the bronze which could fetch around $1,000.

He emphasizes, however, that its historical value and sentimental is much greater.

It's a historical artifact that you can't really put a value on because of its age and its importance to the community, he says, pointing out that people heard the bell ring during weddings and baptisms.

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The theft was reported to the Greater Sudbury Police Service who are investigating.

There's an emotional attachment for a lot of people, he adds.

Ernie Heerschap wants more people to hear about this story so they can keep their eyes peeled for that bell.

He will therefore be even more difficult for someone to sell it, he believes.

We hope someone will think twice about it times and will bring [the bell] back or arrange for us to find it.

Our priority is to see this bell returned to its location, concludes -il.

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