Officials believe Rapp spent the money at casinos. She is a member of the Sisters of St. Francis, based in Lewiston, north of Buffalo. Sister Edith Wyss, provincial minister of the 138-member order, said that when Rapp was placed on leave, she agreed to seek treatment for a gambling addiction.
"She spent 9 1/2 months in an in-patient treatment program and has maintained her recovery in the year since," Wyss said.
Wyss said the order does not condone the conduct but continues to pray for Sister Mary Anne as she deals with her addiction.
"This is a difficult time for all of us," she said, "especially those of us who have lived and worked with Sister Mary Anne for her nearly 50 years in our community."
Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone declined to detail how the alleged theft occurred or comment on the motive.
"We're not at this point focused on what she did with the money, we're focused on the money itself," he said.