Grassi said he is certain the wafers “were not from our church [because] none were missing and they were a different size.” He also said: “I don’t know of any churches that have identified having hosts stolen [to] that degree,” suggesting that they were probably not taken from a Catholic church and probably not consecrated.

“My best guess is that [these were] not consecrated hosts,” Grassi said.

Grassi noted that unconsecrated Communion wafers can be purchased online or elsewhere, which is the most likely explanation for the large number of wafers. An unconsecrated wafer has not undergone transubstantiation — the process by which the substance of the wafer becomes the body and blood of Christ.

The priest said he suspects the action was “a way for [someone] to make a statement in some way,” although he was not certain what that statement was. He noted that some of the hosts appeared to have been intentionally placed near the driver’s side doors of the vehicles. He said it did not appear that any of the wafers were defaced in any way, apart from being spread across the ground.

According to Grassi, about 80 people attended the Easter Mass at 9:30 a.m. The parking lot, which only fits about 15 cars, was full and the nearby streets were also filled with cars.

CNA reached out to the National Park Service for comment but did not receive a response by publication time.