Last Updated on Friday, 24 October 2014 10:02 Written by Christina Lee Knauss | The Catholic Miscellany Friday, 24 October 2014 09:19
GREER -- Even a Catholic bookstore isn’t safe from crime.
St. Benedict’s Catholic Store was the victim of a burglary sometime during the early morning hours of Oct. 16.
Someone broke into a back window of 900 West Poinsett St., headed straight for the office and stole containers of change and small donations for things like coffee, said Kipp McIntyre, who owns and runs the store along with his wife, Stephanie. The thieves left with no more than $40.
“They were so quick there was a line of nickels and dimes strewn around the back yard and into the neighboring yard,” McIntyre said. “It was mostly rolled coins, dimes and nickels.”
No religious objects were disturbed, damaged or taken. St. Benedict’s carries books and Bibles as well as statues, jewelry, rosaries and other items.
“There was nothing else out of place,” he said. “What we consider a miracle is there was a statue of the Blessed Mother wearing a lace mantilla not inches from the window that was smashed. There was glass all across the store and the statue was not touched.”
The incident took place less than a week after the store’s two-year anniversary. It opened on Oct. 10, 2012, a result of the couple’s mutual vision to help more people learn about the faith.
So far there are no suspects, but local police are still investigating.
Community outreach has been part of St. Benedict’s mission since it opened, and the McIntyres have been moved by an outpouring of support and sympathy. Local people stopped by to check on them and also helped with donations to repair the estimated $1,000 cost of fixing the window, which has already been replaced.
“The experience has helped us carry on the community conversation about what it means to be Catholic today,” Mr. McIntyre said. “We live the Gospel and we try everything we can to help folks see in us the tangible benefits of being a practicing Catholic.”
Many people who stop by are outraged that thieves would target a religious store, but the owners are urging everyone not to be angry, but instead to pray for those who committed the crime.