Holy Name Cathedral Collection Cash Stolen

Holy Name Cathedral on the Near North Side is out tens-of-thousands of dollars.

Collection money was stolen from the church over the past couple of months, according to police. 

"I just put money in the collection in there," church visitor said Kate Stec.

"It’s awful for people to even think about stealing from a church at all," parishioner Robert Marques said. "That’s where we go to pray."

A letter sent to parishioners from the Archdiocese of Chicago in part it says "at this time we do not know the extent of the loss, but we are conducting an audit of collections and will report on our findings."

Chicago police say a representative of the church observed two males entering unauthorized areas in the evening hours on multiple occasions in march and april.

"I don’t understand why it’s available or accessible for somebody to get at it," Stec said.

Rev. Benjamin Arevalos of St. Wenceslaus Church in Avondale says all churches follow guidelines to protect the money.

"If you just create a pattern and you do the same thing, let’s say every Sunday, they can read you," he told NBC 5.

Ushers put the money in sealed bags, those bags are tracked, volunteers count the money and put it into a safe until it’s deposited.

Sometimes, even the pastor doesn’t have the combination to the lock- but only one or two volunteers from the church.

"This is very sad but we live in this society," he said.

Outrage among parishioners and visitors like Lisa Aggarwal grow as some consider this to be the ultimate violation of their sanctuary.

"You think of church as kind of a safe haven with so many people giving their hard earned money," she said.

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