By Dan Nienaber
Free Press Staff Writer
NORTH MANKATO — A handmade chalice, given as a gift to the new priest at Holy Rosary Catholic Church more than a decade ago, is missing and police are hoping someone can help find it.
The sterling silver chalice cost about $2,000 when it was purchased for Rev. Peter Nosbush in 2000. Kurt Evans, the church’s maintenance supervisor, said it’s likely worth twice that amount now.
“I would have no idea where to even start to work on that part of it,” he said. “Silver has gone up drastically during the past five years.”
Evans said he’s certain the chalice was at the church Friday. He and several other people were at the church Saturday morning installing a cabinet. Evans doesn’t remember seeing the chalice then, but his adult daughter said she is sure she saw it.
The doors were locked after they finished the cabinet work around noon and not opened again until Nosbush was there around 4 p.m. to prepare for the Saturday afternoon Mass. The people providing the music for the service started arriving a while later to prepare for the 5:30 p.m. service.
“There is no way anybody would have been able to take it by this point,” Evans said.
He suspects it was taken sometime between 4 p.m. and when the music people started to arrive. Nosbush realized it was gone when he went to serve communion during the Saturday service.
The chalice is about 7 inches tall and has an onyx stone ring, which is pink or rose in color, around the lower stem of the cup. There is a single cross etched on it.
“It’s something that is irreplaceable because the person who made it died,” Evans said. “Father Nosbush is not happy about it. The worst of it is he was celebrating his 43rd anniversary in the priesthood last weekend and that happened.”
Evans said he is hoping whoever took the chalice didn’t realize its financial value nor its sentimental value to Nosbush and the church. No questions will be asked if someone can return it, he said.
“Those who know about this are very upset about it,” Evans said. “Anytime something like this happens, you feel violated. I’m almost 65 years old and I was raised in the parish. I’ve been very involved for the past 30 years. I found it very upsetting.”
There have been vandalism problems with neighborhood kids breaking into the school across the street. They have been chased away several times and a few of the teens have been questioned by police. Evans said he doesn’t think those kids are responsible for the theft.
“I haven’t seen them here in over a week, so I thought we were over this,” he said. “So I’m not 100 percent sure it was the kids. I think it was someone else.”
Anyone with information about the chalice is being asked to call North Mankato police at 625-4141 and ask for Detective Jeremy Swenson.