By Emily Drooby
Once again, the sound of guitar music fills the air at Shrine Church of Saint Gerard Majella in Queens, and it’s all because of a generous donor.
In October a theft took $4,000 worth of guitars. First the suspect disrespected the sanctuary, then he attempting to get into the poor box, eventually entering the sacristy where he grabbed two guitars before heading out the door.
A generous benefactor heard what happened and donated two guitars.
Father JosephJude Gannon, the pastor at Saint Gerard Majella said; “It’s a very joyful thing especially around this time of the year to know there are really good people out there that only want to help the church and only want to bring the gift of music to parishioners.”
The church’s music director, Anne Smith-Thompson, says after hearing their story, a New Jersey donor, who wanted to remain anonymous, remembered a promise she made to her since deceased grandmother.
Smith-Thompson, said, “These guitars belonged to this woman’s grandmother who had been a church musician and her grandmother had made her promise that she would donate them to a church.”
The donation has struck a heartwarming cord with those involved, but they are still searching for the stolen instruments.
Smith-Thompson, said, “It’s not just the guitar, you know it was something very special to us.”
Smith-Thompson explains one of the stolen guitars was given to her by her father, who has since passed. The family heirloom has also become synonymous with the church’s music. But Smith-Thompson says this generous donation will allow for the show to go on.
Smith-Thompson, said, “It touched me so deeply that someone would give a family heirloom like that to replace our own family heirloom.”
NYPD are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect, call CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-800-577-tips or you can text your tips to CRIMES and then enter tips577.