House of Formation burglarized twice over Christmas

Diocesan vocations director Msgr. Scott Friend stands behind broken window frames from the boarded-up back door of the House of Formation in Little Rock on Dec. 30. The house was burglarized on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, with intruders throwing rocks through a window to enter.
Diocesan vocations director Msgr. Scott Friend stands behind broken window frames from the boarded-up back door of the House of Formation in Little Rock on Dec. 30. The house was burglarized on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, with intruders throwing rocks through a window to enter.

The House of Formation in Little Rock was broken into twice, on both Christmas Eve and Christmas, with about $3,000 worth of electronics stolen and property damaged. Around 10:40 p.m. Dec. 24, a man threw a rock through a back patio door window and slipped in. The alarm was not enabled and the overnight security guard was not stationed at that location, said diocesan vocations director Msgr. Scott Friend. Msgr. Friend returned to the house around midnight after celebrating Masses but was staying in the building adjacent to the main living quarters. Bishop Anthony B. Taylor and seminarians were with their families for Christmas. 

The man was in the house until 2 a.m. and stole several items, including the living room television, a seminarian’s TV, pillows and a Nintendo Switch video game system. Father Patrick Friend, chaplain and teacher at Catholic High School who lives at the house, was the only one in the building and slept through the burglary. On Dec. 25, Msgr. Friend entered the house shortly after 11 a.m. and noticed the other window was broken. Another man had broken the second door window and entered. He fled after hearing Msgr. Friend opening the front door. The man stole $300 cash and was trying to steal another video game system. 

“I missed him really by seconds,” Msgr. Friend said. 

Security cameras did get images of the men, and police collected fingerprints from the scene. Msgr. Friend said someone has already volunteered to donate a new television. A parishioner at Our Lady of Good Counsel, on the same property as the House of Formation, boarded up the broken windows. 

“It broke my heart,” Msgr. Friend said of the robbery. “… If someone needs help, all they have to do is ask.” 

“What happened to their life that they feel that’s what they have to do to survive?” he added. 

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