A nun who allegedly has a serious gambling addiction is in court today on charges of criminal grand lareny and embezzling money after it is said she stole $128,000 from two New York churches.
Sister Mary Anne Rapp is facing the charges after allegedly stealing money from both the St. Mary’s and St. Mark’s churches in upstate New York between 2006 and 2010.
Rapp’s scheme was first uncovered when a new pastor assigned to the linked parishes conducted a routine audit.
Kevin Keenan, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, says the pastor came across “some irregularities,” and then reported them to a county prosecutor.
“These are smaller parishes in a rural part of the diocese,” Keenan said. “Regardless of the size, this would be a significant amount of money for any parish.”
The two churches have congregations of over 600 families.
“This is a difficult time for all of us,” said Sister Edith Wyss, “especially those of us who have lived and worked with Sister Mary Anne for her nearly 50 years in our community.”
While Rapp is believed to have taken the money, she did not spend it on anything visible.
“It’s not a situation where the sister has been living an extravagant life,” he said. “I think there are indications that she has a gambling problem.”
Rapp’s attorney, James Harrington, is saying that she made a mistake once, and that it was not a pattern of behavior.
“She’s been a nun for a very long time, been a very good person, never in any trouble before,” he said. “She did great work wherever she was assigned.”
Rapp is now in recovery for her addiction after having been in a nine-and-half-month treatment program.
She is expected to plead not guilty.
Jordan Shepherd | Elite.