Police and fire crews were called to Our Lady of Perpetual Forgiveness in Worcester, Massachusetts last Saturday evening when a church secretary called to report a strange smell emanating throughout the chapel where mass was being held. At first, everyone thought that the priest must have been burning incense and didn’t think anything of it, but as the smell got stronger and some of the faithful began giggling uncontrollably, it became apparent that something was amiss.
The priest, however, seemed unwilling to allow his service to be disrupted and went on with his sermon, albeit his words becoming more and more difficult to comprehend. One parishioner claims at one point, the priest began sermonizing about out-of-body experiences and vibrational patterns of the universe before sitting down in front of the potted mums and “getting into” the unusual purple color someone had dyed them.” That is when the secretary, who had been sitting in the furthest row and appeared to be less affected by the smoke, snuck outside and used her cell phone to call 911.
Upon arrival, the police found the congregation dancing around in the chapel and singing “Jesus Christ Superstar” as the priest chowed down on the entire plate of wafers, washing it down with the wine set aside for communion.
A search of the source of the smoke in the chapel netted no results; however, police did confirm that the smell was definitely that of burning marijuana and not incense. The priest and the congregation were led outdoors into the fresh air, as the police continued their search for the source of the smoke.
They opened the door to the rectory and that is where they saw a smoldering fire in the corner. A pile of oily rags appeared to have spontaneously combusted and set ablaze a large bag of marijuana obviously left behind by a carpenter who had been hired by the Church earlier in the day to work on restoration of the woodwork in the rectory.
Police were unable to locate the carpenter for further questions. The priest claims he just showed up on the Church steps with a story about being out of work and asking for a hand out. The priest says he put him to work in the rectory promising him some fish and bread upon completion of the task. No one has seen or heard from the man since.