NEW YORK – The theft of a friar’s most cherished possession, a custom-made guitar given to him by New York City firefighters in 2001, has been publicized by both the print and broadcast media here. The guitar, given to Francis Gunn, OFM, by members of Ladder 25, depicts firefighters raising the flag at Ground Zero after 9/11.
It was stolen earlier this month from the parish van on West 96th Street, near Holy Name of Jesus Church where Francis is pastor.
Francis said, “I consider this one of the best gifts I have ever received and I am heartsick about its loss.”
Through Brian Jordan, OFM, who lives with Francis, the New York City police were contacted.
“The NYPD contacted the Daily News which ran a short article in its Oct. 18 issue about the pastor ‘praying for the return of his guitar’ emphasizing that Francis will take back the guitar “with no strings attached.”
Francis was interviewed by WPIX Channel 11 News which televised the interview Oct. 18. His love of music was shown by Francis singing a song using another guitar.
Francis said that he prays that whoever took the guitar will return it to the rectory at 207 West 96th Street, and that he will accept tit back “no questions asked.”