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Cherished, 400-pound bell stolen from Sudbury-area church

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A Roman Catholic artifact has been stolen from St. Christopher Catholic Church in Whitefish, a small community west of Sudbury.

On Sunday, parishioners discovered the church bell was missing when someone went to ring it at the beginning of mass – only to discover it was gone.

Officials said while the 400-pound bronze bell does have monetary value, there is no price on its historical and sentimental value.

“The value of it would be about $1,200 just in metal value however there is no value you can put on the historical value,” said Ernie Heerschap, parish council chair at St. Christopher Catholic Church.

“People in this area … have heard it during their wedding ceremonies, during christenings, during the beginning of mass. So it has a very emotional connection to the people in this area.”

Heerschap said the bell’s historical significance dates back to 1902 when it was cast at a foundry in Maryland and named Maria.

“This bell is over 120 years old it’s a well-known artifact in the Walden area,” he said.

“It originated up in Victoria mine back in the early 1900s and found a home eventually here at St. Christopher Parish in the 1960s when this church was built.”

A Roman Catholic artifact has been stolen from St. Christopher Catholic Church in Whitefish. On Sunday, parishioners discovered the church bell was missing when someone went to ring it at the beginning of mass – only to discover it was gone. (Alana Everson/CTV News)

Church officials said the theft has been reported to police and they are also hoping the community will help.

“We are asking for people to be aware and have a look out for the bell and for those that are responsible to please return it,” Heerschap said.

“We are always willing to help those if they need help.”

Church officials said the theft of the church bell is shocking and parishioners are saddened by it.

“Today there was a mass and it was part of their prayers,” said Heerschap.

Church officials said parishioners are hoping for a small miracle this Christmas season.

They say anyone can call the parish office to arrange for pick up of the bell with no questions asked. 

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