several minutes before Mass, statue of Peter, window in distance of Jesus with children, standing room only already.
"...one of the most egregious mistakes in the history of the diocese to close this church and suppress this parish." --from Fr. Robert Marrone's valedictory sermon
Jesus window with german inscription over main doors.
At the final scheduled Mass at Saint Peter, Cleveland, Father Marrone spoke truthfully and powerfully. He said many quotable things. It was a wonderful and emotional oration. Really, it was an historic speech. It should be published nationwide. It addresses the climate of FEAR—fear in the local church, the national church, the global church, and though not directly implied—the whole of this country.
He said many things, some about "the pre-horrible days." He began from the beginning, the 1850s when Bishop Louis Amadeus Rappe and Father John Luhr started the parish. Other significant points of the history of the parish, and his twenty-eight year pastorate he recalled with pride, and a sense of loss and pain in its conclusion. He mentioned several current members and those whom live on in recent memory.
All the stated, supposed reasons for the "closing of the church and the suppression of the parish" did not apply. This parish was in the Spirit of Vatican II. To-day there is a climate of fear and "retrenchment", "where liberal is synonymous with criminal" and "blind obedience" is confused with "faithfulness". Some of these lines were met with sustained and rousing applause.
Also, before Mass began, it was announced there would be no Mass, there, next Sunday.Three of the four local television stations flubbed this, and announced per the diocesan source, that the bishop will say the final Mass next week. This is notable, for there was a flurry of press notice this week, over the bishop's wants and concerns. Lennon was upset with everything about this parish. It was incorrectly printed in the local daily, in reliance to the official diocesan source, that, "In accordance with church law, he presides at the last Mass of a closing church." It was not the only false statement so reported. Do not expect retractions and corrections.
small portion of 1000 souls outside after mass, it took twenty minutes to exit
It was Resurrection Sunday. As Fr. Marrone mentioned, when the women came to the empty tomb, the Angel said, "Do not be afraid. You will not find Jesus here." The tomb is empty, and after to-day this church building will be like a tomb. Jesus lives and is found elsewhere. The good Father was right, we are surrounded by fear. The Angel was right, we should not fear. Courage is what we need.
moment of final closure of welcoming central doors
Fr. Marrone closed the front doors after everyone went outside, and it was over—quietly. The parishioners felt a lot better than if he, whose name was not mentioned during the Mass, would have been there to suppress [and yes that is the correct word, which the press and public avoids] the parish in person. The parish celebrated Paschal Mass, which doubled as the swan song, instead of experiencing a Mass of Eviction under a suppressing ordinary. The pastor did not feel the armed entourage, the superfluous "security" forces and measures that Lennon employs would be appropriate in the Tabernacle of God [and his congregation concurred]. Truly, Jesus disarmed Peter, we must recognise and remember.