LOS BANOS, Calif. - "It's with a heavy heart I couldn't believe something like that happened," said Bishop Armando Ochoa.
It's a theft story with a profound impact on the Valley's large Catholic population. Bishop Armando Ochoa's signature pastoral staff and other holy items are missing after someone broke into his car while he was eating lunch in Los Banos before performing two holy confirmation services Sunday.
"Obviously they didn't know it was mine. They were looking for something, but I hold no ill will."
What they took, not your normal items: a wooden Crosier, 35-year-old Oil Stock and Ritual Book used for Conformations, a small satchel, and personal checks.
For Bishop Ochoa, it's not the dollar value on these items, but the emotional and spiritual significance.
"I don't feel badly personally but I feel badly because of the symbolism behind it. I cannot believe anyone could have done this intentionally knowing it would be needed for the two confirmations the same afternoon," he said.
Bishop Ochoa asks if anyone may know where these items are to drop them at the doorsteps of any Valley Catholic church or the Fresno Diocese.