On the Fourth Sunday of Advent, a few dozen parishioners of Saint Casimir, and a few of their friends met, in front of a chained and padlocked fence, in front of the boarded and locked church, for another weekly prayer and hymn service. The cold would not deter. They sang hymns and prayed as they have since their church was wrested from them.
a celtic lass amidst the slavs
They also shared oplatki. An oplatek is a rectangular and embossed wafer similar to an unconsecrated host, and it can also symbolise manna. Usually a family shares these at Christmas Eve supper. A piece is broken off and then the remainder is passed to another family member. People forgive each other, hug and so on. Love and reconciliation is encouraged. Some people put honey on their portion, to increase the shared sweetness of the custom. But, such a practice is not limited to the family. In the christmas season such breaking of oplatki can occur amongst any comrades, and here to-day in front of a closed church. This cultural practice began with the poles and spread to the lithuanians, slovaks and is known to other slavonic nations. Some call these christmas wafers or angel bread. It is a reminder that in a world wide faith there are many local doings that are not known universally, but still pleasant.
They announced, and introduced, the Divine Mercy armband in the cause of solidarity with all members of the diocese, in a petition to save parishes. It will be a symbol of their trust in Jesus, and a symbol and sign to others of their perseverance. They send out a welcome to others, especially to the people of Saint Barbara's, to join them, and to wear them at Mass.
formal introduction of Divine Mercy armbands
nativity tableaux with mums, roses and the mexican christmas flower
noto bene: Between the time of this event and its description Dick the Destroyer of Parishes has suppressed Saint Vitus (Croat) Lorain.