NEW ORLEANS -- Some Christmas grinches may have stolen a golf cart and a special bat from a New Orleans East priest but they couldn't take away his faith in humanity.
Father Michael Joseph Vin Nguyen lost his golf cart on Christmas Eve. Two people stole it outside his Catholic church, Resurrection of Our Lord, during Mass.
During our original story that aired on New Year’s Eve, Father Nguyen described his loss.
"I have a Louisville, Kentucky slugger. I kept that in my office for seven years. And I say this is my souvenir from Katrina. And that day, for some reason, I put it on the back of my golf cart. And it's gone," Father Nguyen said.
But that story of sinners brought out some saints all the way from Louisville, Kentucky. Tuesday, Eyewitness News Reporter Katie Moore got the chance to surprise Father Nguyen with a new, customized bat.
When the story originally aired, New Orleans was packed with University of Louisville fans who were in town for the Sugar Bowl. An unidentified Louisville fan saw the story on TV, went home and told the company about it.
The vice president of the company watched it on the Internet, then contacted Katie wanting to get a new bat made for Father Nguyen.
“Are you kidding me?" asked Father Nguyen when he got his first look at the dark, wood bat.
“Thank you. I will treasure this,” he said.
“I'm going to show it to people at mass this weekend,” he continued.
Like so many New Orleanians, Nguyen lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. The bat that was stolen was all he could salvage.
“It's a good reminder of what we went through. And it help me. And once in a while I hold the bat and say, look, we can hold on,” Nguyen said.
Now, he said he'll have a reminder of what's good in the world.
“This tells us that people out there are good people. Kind people,” he said.
Louisville Slugger even personalized it for him, with his name burned into the bat and painted in gold.
New Orleans police said they still have no leads on who may have stolen the golf cart. Father Nguyen has leg problems and used it to get around the Resurrection of Our Lord campus.