Religious items stolen from Bishop Armando Ochoa of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno were found and returned to St. Joseph’s Church in Los Banos in good condition on Wednesday.
The items – including a crosier, oil stock and ritual book, all used to celebrate confirmations – were stolen out of Ochoa’s vehicle while he was eating lunch in Los Banos on Sunday on the way to St. Joseph’s.
The Diocese of Fresno was told that a young person found them in an alley and brought them back to the church. A reporter with TV station KSEE (Channel 24) was in Los Banos for a follow-up story about the stolen items at the time and was able to transport them back to Fresno on Wednesday.
Ochoa said his crosier – a wooden hooked staff – was given to him when he was installed as bishop of the Diocese of Fresno five years ago, and the oil stock was given to him when he was ordained as a bishop 30 years ago.
Teresa Dominguez, chancellor of the Diocese of Fresno, said Ochoa will be using the returned items in another confirmation on Wednesday evening.
Church leaders previously said that the items could be returned with “no questions asked” to St. Joseph’s.