Changes made after Mission San Juan burglarized 3 times in past 6 weeks

Monetary value not placed on sacred items

By Pilar Arias - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A South Side mission is limiting visitations after it was hit by thieves once again.

Mission San Juan Capistrano pastor James Galvin and parishioners said they feel frustrated and disappointed by three burglaries in the past six weeks.

"There's a lot of sadness because this should not be happening," parishioner Olga Martinez said after Palm Sunday Mass.

RELATED: Processional cross stolen from church at Mission San Juan

Even though the church is a World Heritage Site, where people like to pray and look inside during the day, Galvin is now locking it up to prevent theft.

"During Holy Week, parishioners should be able to walk into church whenever they want and pray, light candles and now that it's locked. We can't (leave it open). It's only open for Mass and that's not right," Martinez said.

There is, however, night security at the property.

FUN FACTS: Mission San Juan

"I'm hoping very soon to be able to open the church again once we take measures to try to prevent this from happening," Galvin said.

Galvin said two processional crosses, a CD player, a crucifix above the tabernacle, a monstrance and altar linens have all been stolen.

RELATED: Suspects in 2012 mission break-in face federal charges

"They were very beautiful. They were crosses and they were sacred and we're going to miss them," parishioner Manuel Guerra said.

To most, the losses aren't about the monetary value and they hope whoever's responsible will be held accountable.

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