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

“Whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33 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

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

We truly love God and keep His commandments if we restrain ourselves from our pleasures. For he who still abandons himself to unlawful desires certainly does not love God, since he contradicts Him in his own intentions. . . Therefore, he loves God truly, whose mind is not conquered by consent to evil delight. For the more one takes pleasure in lower things, the more he is separated from heavenly love.

St. Gregory the Great