Sunday, March 21, 2010

Walter returns to Casimir's

Cleveland Lake Erie Shore

foto of Saint Casimir's niche in the high altar inside

Władysław "Władek (Walter)" Szylwian is acknowledged

Driving to Saint Casimir's the classical music station was playing Raxmaninov playing the Marche funèbre from Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor. It is now seven years passed bushjr's initial bombing of Iraq, and that war continues yet, the victims and the dead were amongst those prayed for at the vigil. During the beginning of the vigil, buzzards and crows flew about. I was reminded of the ravens, Hugin and Munin, the norse war god, Odin's scouts and spions. For some, all this would seem a not so good harbinger of the new season, but some miles a way Hinckley was celebrating buzzard sunday; we had the 5th Sunday of Lent, and Lennon was in Lakewood transfiguring a parish accompanied by a flock of bored police.

The Cleveland lake shore was kissed, and hugged with chewed and churned ice, and the wind moving quickly over it was cold, so as, to numb everyone's hands. Further inland it was warmer, so no one wore gloves. Again prayers and hymns, in two languages, were said and sung. A second mini-celebration of St. Patrick with coffee and pastry was had, since some were not there the week before.

To-day, the mention of Saint Colman's Father Robert Begin brought a round of applause. He is the first Cleveland priest to voice, publicly, the frustration and disagreement the diocese has with its ordinary, Richard Lennon. It was welcome news that solidarity spread beyond E. 82nd, the crowd that filled the irish cathedral on W. 65th on St. Patrick's Day had especially bidded prayers for both Saint Casimir's and Emeric's, along with the other endangered and extinguished parishes.

The celebrity of the day was Walter Szylwian. He was the 96 year old altar boy who pulled the plug on Lennon's microphone, during November's Mass of Eviction, and ignited the rebellion of the parishioners against the tyrant. To-day was his return to Saint Casimir not unlike a swallow to the mission San Juan Capistrano. He was well greeted, and shook hands with nearly everyone. People who had come to the vigils, whom were not originally members of the parish, had wanted to see the man who cut the juice on Dickie-boy, and now they did. They wanted their picture taken with the spirited catholic man.

Every week there is a new story about the parish-in-exile. They have been forming a new community of believers. They enjoy each other's company. Over the many weeks their story has been covered by a local weekly, The Neighborhood News of Garfield Heights, by one Joseph Feckanin, a fellow participant of this parish. A student, from the University of Cincinnati, also came to document the parish closings for her thesis. The resilient parish is slowly increasing its fame.

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