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Sheriffs arrest man after altar destroyed at Subiaco Abbey

The marble altar at the Subiaco Abbey Church in Subiaco, Ark., was destroyed Jan. 5 after a man entered with a sledgehammer and hammer. (Photos courtesy Subiaco Abbey)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (OSV News) — A man was arrested Jan. 5 after he destroyed the top of the altar at the Subiaco Abbey Church, stealing two reliquaries containing six relics, Arkansas Catholic, newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock, reported.

Abbot Elijah Owens, OSB, said one of the reliquaries with three relics was found in the suspect’s truck, along with a hammer and sledgehammer “with marble dust still on them.” The abbey didn’t comment on the whereabouts of the other reliquary.

Several witnesses said they saw a “strange man” on the campus between 3-4 p.m. The man was previously seen at Sunday Masses Jan. 1.

Abbot Owens wrote on the abbey’s website,, “He had apparently then moved to the tabernacle, removed the cross on top, removed the tabernacle veil and then was interrupted. Thankfully, the Blessed Sacrament and the tabernacle were not damaged.” 

Malea Hargett is editor of Arkansas Catholic.

For the full story, see your local Catholic news source.

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