Whoever broke into St. Mary's Church in Montague, P.E.I., Wednesday night made off with more than cash, says the church pastor.

RCMP are investigating the break in and theft of the church safe.

Gerard Chaisson said the custodian discovered the theft.

"I rushed over to the church and to the office and saw the hole in the wall and was pretty devastated by the whole thing," said Chaisson.

"I felt kind of sick to my stomach."

Church theft

The safe was torn out of the wall. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

Chaisson said the thief or thieves broke in through the basement door, tore the safe out of the wall, and then used the secretary's chair to roll the safe out of the building.

2nd break in

In addition to more than $1,000 in cash, destined for charity, the safe contained church documents, including a mass intentions book. The names of people who have died, for whom mass is to be said, are recorded in that book. It includes records going back more than seven years.

"That book has spiritual value," said Chaisson.

St. Mary's Church, Montague

The break in at the church happened Wednesday night. (Diocese of Charlottetown)

"Those masses were to be offered for people who have died by family members. It's something that is very personal and spiritual and close to the heart."

Chaisson said it is the second break in this fall. Not much was taken the first time, and he suspects the same culprit or culprits might have spotted the safe and decided to come back for it.

Chaisson does not expect to recover the money, but he hopes the thief or thieves might leave the church documents somewhere where they can be recovered.

With files from Krystalle Ramlakhan