LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - Members of a local Catholic church are in shock because of a crime over the weekend that has also left them hurt and confused.

St. Barbara Chaldean Catholic Church was broken into, burglarized, and apparently the target of an attempted arson.

"We were shocked," Father Ray Sarkees, the church pastor said. "We're all shocked about it."

Several heavy-duty fans cover the floor of the building. They're drying things out after the sprinklers went off. A black scorch mark covers a large area around the altar.

Sarkees says a church safe and a sound system were stolen, along with donation boxes.

Michael Patros, a member of the small church, says he's heartbroken.

"Who would do something like this and why?" Patros said. "What did we do to upset somebody? What was the reason? What were they getting out of it?"

Almost all of the 150 to 200 families that belong to the church are Iraqi.

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Teachings of Christ

'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:53-54 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

"Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching." (Proverbs 4:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Do we forgive our neighbors their trespasses? God also forgives us in His mercy. Do we refuse to forgive? God, too, will refuse to forgive us. As we treat our neighbors, so also does God treat us. The forgiveness, then, of your sins or unforgiveness, and hence also your salvation or destruction, depend on you yourself, man. For without forgiveness of sins there is no salvation. You can see for yourself how terrible it is.

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Journey to Heaven