St. Mary Catholic Church in Holley, New York
Holley, NY (WGRZ) -- A nun is accused of stealing from two rural churches in Orleans County, New York.
Officials say Sister Mary Anne Rapp stole about $128,000 from St. Mark Church in Kendall and St. Mary in Holley. They say the thefts may have occurred over the course of several years.
A source tells our sister station WGRZ 2 On Your Side that the nun allegedly took the money to gamble.
Investigators say they were notified by the Catholic Diocese of the thefts. They say Sister Rapp has been cooperative.
Sister Edith Wyss, provincial minister for the 138 members of the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity, released this statement:
"This is a difficult time for all of us, especially those of us who have lived and worked with Sister Mary Anne for her nearly 50 years in our community. We cannot and do not condone the conduct alleged in these charges.
"When she was placed on administrative leave from her parishes in February 2011, she agreed at our order's behest to seek treatment for her gambling addiction. She spent 9½ months in an in-patient treatment program and has maintained her recovery in the year since. As sisters we continue to pray for Sister Mary Anne and help her deal with her addiction, which sadly is prevalent in our society.
"The investigation and the legal process must run their course and we have no further comment at this time. We would add that for the Sisters of St. Francis, this is a private matter involving one of our own and we would ask that our privacy be respected."
Sister Rapp is scheduled to appear in court on Monday evening for grand larceny charges. Her lawyer, James Harrington, says she'll plead not guilty.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.