3 accused of embezzlement from parishes

BRAINTREE -- Three people who counted collection money at two local Catholic churches who are charged with stealing from parish collections are currently awaiting their respective pre-trial conferences.

Marjory O'Day, 58, of Braintree, and John Inferrere, 62, of Wayland, are scheduled for pre-trial conferences at Framingham District Court in late July, according to Maryanne Donnell, a clerk supervisor at the Framingham court. The two were arrested on June 7 by the Wayland Police Department for stealing from collections at St. Zepherin Parish in Wayland. They are charged with larceny and breaking and entering a depository.

Both are employees at the parish. O'Day is listed in the 2010 Boston Catholic Directory as the parish's pastoral associate.

Although evidence at St. Zepherin's indicates that O'Day and Inferrere were stealing from the same source, authorities believe the thefts were unrelated and the two were unaware of each other's actions.

A similar situation recently occurred at a Tyngsboro parish.

Donna Rood, 47, of Tyngsboro, a former employee of St. Mary Magdalen Parish there, is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on June 30 at Middlesex Superior Court. She was recently arraigned June 11 on charges that she stole over $100,000 in cash from the church over several years.

"The parish and the archdiocese have been cooperating with local law enforcement throughout the investigation," said Terry Donilon, a spokesman for the archdiocese. "The archdiocese, with its insurers, is continuing its review at the parish level to determine with more specificity the final amount that is suspected to have been stolen as well as recovery of collection funds."

Theft allegations against Rood stem from May 2009. Bank records obtained by authorities revealed substantial deposits of cash income between 2005 and 2009 made just days after Masses.

"As sad and difficult as this matter has been for our parish, we pray for the former employee who is at the center of this investigation and facing serious legal consequences," Donilon's statement said.