St. Ignatius Fights Back Against Copper Thieves

To the editor:

Bittersweet, yes, but given the state of affairs, progress. St. Ignatius of Antioch Catholic Church tallied its receipts from the Fall Festival, raffle and gala dinner and exceeded expectations with a net profit of $32,000.

The sad news is that normally that money would have gone towards the ‘Complete the Vision Campaign’ to build an educational center. Due to three copper thefts in a matter of months that stripped air conditioners and perimeter wires, some $26,000 of it is earmarked for a perimeter fence, which is hoped to go in by the end of the year.

The projected fence installation follows in the steps of the Dhyanyoga Center across the street which was also repeatedly vandalized, as was a number of other churches and schools around the city.

In the meantime. a contingent of men, and one brave woman parishioner, are doing three hour shifts through the night watching the church. New security cameras and increased city police patrols add to the security effort. In addition, the church has volunteers patrolling the parking lot during services because of past car break-ins. Anybody with any tips on either variety of thief, please contact the Antioch police.

The church, incidentally, is just shy of a million dollars in pledges, a third of its goal. Parochial Administrator Robert Rien has been tirelessly pursuing foundations and under the leadership of Finance Committee Chair Ron France, the church is pulling out all the stops with recyclable collection, loose change jugs, fish fries, crab feeds, restaurant incentive nights, gourmet coffee and tri-tip sandwich sales and just about any fund-raising enterprise that is legal and wholesome.

The church welcomes ideas if you have any. Seems thieves may come and go, but men and women of good faith and resilience are a constant at St. Ignatius of Antioch Church.

Walter Ruehlig

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