January 31, 2023 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica Catholic Church Burglarized

Pastor calls for forgiveness

By Dolores Quintana

St. Monica Catholic Church was burglarized on Thursday night by criminals who stole $100,000 in video and sound equipment from the Church after services ended. 

In a sermon on Sunday after the burglary, Monsignor Lloyd Torgerson called for forgiveness towards the offenders and that the congregation show love towards them by using the example of the parable of The Prodigal Son. The parable speaks of a father who shows compassion towards his son who has lost his way and welcomes him back into the family after the son dishonored his father’s wishes. The most relevant part of the parable to the congregation is that of the good son who stays with the family and asks why the other son was forgiven when he did wrong. It is a reminder that they are not being penalized for doing the right thing, but that forgiveness is what God would want them to show to even those who have wronged them. 

The thieves also stole candle boxes and money that was still in the donation boxes. They attempted to force open the antique tabernacle of the church that holds the consecrated host for church services but were thwarted in that attempt. 

Torgerson, who has been the leader of the church for 35 years said “The fact that we were violated in this situation is hard for me, and I know it’s hard for you. We have a challenge today. Somehow, some way we have to be able to forgive the people who did what they did to us Thursday night.”

According to Torgerson, the thieves hid in the church on Thursday afternoon, waiting until church members and staff had left the building for the evening. 

CBS Los Angeles obtained security footage that showed a suspect, a Black male who wore white shoes and face mask and black pants and t-shirt, checking the interior of the Church for valuables including looking behind the altar where the Church’s video equipment was kept. Around 9:30 p.m. the suspect and accomplices started to remove items from the church and there are still photographs of the suspect walking through the Church with a flashlight. 

Officials at the Church are of the opinion that three men were involved in the burglary. 

During the sermon on Sunday, Torgerson gave more details about the burglary. Apparently, the burglars fled when a church employee returned to clean the church on Friday morning. Torgerson said that the employee “turned the light on and when he did, they ran out of the front door of the church.” Torgerson added that “We have a challenge today. Somehow, some way we have to be able to forgive the people who did what they did to us Thursday night. The drive and desperation of those who would violate a place of worship for material gain is confounding but not surprising. We must pray and forgive those who trespass against us and continue to work to serve the needs of others to bring contentedness and peace for all humankind.” The sermon was live streamed courtesy of equipment that parishioners provided to the Church. 

Torgerson’s email to church members on Friday sent a similar message and detailed the items that were stolen and in it he wrote, “Much of our camera and audio equipment was stolen, along with our candle boxes. All of that can be replaced, so we must be thankful that no one was in harm’s way. They attempted to breach the tabernacle and it was damaged, but it held strong and protected the Blessed Sacrament. What an inspiring demonstration of the power of the Eucharist!” 

To date, the Santa Monica Police Department has not issued a statement about the burglary.

in Crime, News
Related Posts

Los Angeles Sees Increase in Kia and Hyundai Thefts Fueled by TikTok

January 31, 2023

January 31, 2023

Social media platforms exacerbate vehicle thefts through security flaws Kia and Hyundai vehicles have become a major target for car...

Phil Brock Appointed to Serve on National League of Cities’ Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee

January 31, 2023

January 31, 2023

Brock will help shape NLC’s policy positions and advocate for America’s cities, towns and villages before Congress Santa Monica City...

SMMUSD Board Meeting Limited to In-Person Public Comment

January 30, 2023

January 30, 2023

Officials cite technical issues For the upcoming Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education meeting, public comment must be...

City Council Approves Plan to Close Santa Monica Airport by 2028

January 30, 2023

January 30, 2023

City will now be able to plan for the airport’s closure following January 24 meeting By Dolores Quintana The Santa...

SMa.r.t Column: Widespread Issues Put Santa Monica in Danger

January 28, 2023

January 28, 2023

Following are 5 issues which, along with homelessness and crime, should take priority over all else in our city’s immediate...

1980s Rustic Canyon Home Hits the Market for $7.5 Million

January 28, 2023

January 28, 2023

Property checks in at over 5,000 square feet featuring five bedrooms By Dolores Quintana A home designed by fine artist...

New Two-Story Commercial Building Proposed for Main Street in Santa Monica

January 28, 2023

January 28, 2023

Project at Marine and Main would replace current parking lot A new two-story commercial building has been proposed for Main...

260-Acre Property Comprising 6% of Bel Air on the Market!

January 27, 2023

January 27, 2023

Last-ditch effort to sell Senderos Canyon spread By Dolores Quintana Bel-Air, one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the United...

Massive 24,000-Gallon Raw Sewage Leak Closes Local Beaches

January 27, 2023

January 27, 2023

Wednesday leak near Admiralty Way and Palawan Way cause of closures A massive 24,000-gallon raw sewage leak shut down several...

Debris Washed Ashore at Santa Monica Beach

January 27, 2023

January 27, 2023

Debris Washed Ashore at Santa Monica Beach During Last Week’s Storms. @smmirrornews Debris Washed Ashore at Santa Monica Beach During...

Popular Health-Conscious Restaurant Closes Downtown Santa Monica Location

January 26, 2023

January 26, 2023

Flowerchild no longer at 1332 Second Street By Dolores Quintana A popular health-conscious restaurant has shut down its Downtown Santa...

Iconic Roscoe’s Chicken ‘n Waffles Shutters its Pico Location

January 26, 2023

January 26, 2023

LA-based chain to focus on flagship on La Brea and Washington By Dolores Quintana For everyone who loves Roscoe’s Chicken...

Santa Monica Road Rage Incident Results in Shooting and Arrests for Attempted Murder

January 25, 2023

January 25, 2023

Manuel Jaramillo-Heredia and Emilio Reyes were arrested in connection to Tuesday incident By Sam Catanzaro A road rage incident escalated...

Column – A California Positive: Kids Swarm Extra Classes

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

By Tom Elias It’s become a cliché, the shibboleth that California has lousy public schools and most of the kids...

New Sourdough Bagel Shop Now Open in Ocean Park

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

Layla’s Bagels by chef Sergio Espana (formally from Tartine and Gjusta) has opened a shop on Ocean Park. @smmirrornews New...