I knew and old Irish priest who shared
the following with me.
Many years back he was assigned to an inner city church not unlike
Sacred Heart Vailsburg. At that time there were no Eucharist Servers
as we know them today. The host was given only by a priest. Remember
we had to go to the front of the alter and knell down to receive
To be time effective they had an intercom set up between the Church
and the rectory. The priest in the rectory would listen for the
portion of the celebration of Mass where he was needed. He then
would go to the Church and assist the other priest in giving Communion.
This normally worked out very well with no surprises.
As I'm sure you also remember years ago most Catholic churches
never locked their doors. At night the primary lighting in most
was provided by the votive candles. The incandescent lighting was
tertiary or secondary at best. It was very hallow and quiet place
to say the least.
Late one Sunday evening the old Irish priest went into the office
portion of the rectory. This was the room where the intercom was
located. When he entered the office he heard two guys talking. Someone
forgot to shut the intercom off earlier that day. When he listened
to what they were saying he realized that they were robbing the
poor boxes in the Church.
Without thinking his latent Irish humor kicked in. He switched
the intercom from receive to send. Next he lowered his voice by
two octaves and said the following very slowly.
"Thou- Shall- Not -Steal"
He tuned the intercom to the receive mode and heard the following;
(1) Two guys screaming.
(2) The sounds of running feet.
(3) The sound of a closing door
(4) Total silence!
That was a true story from many years ago.