Outside St. James school there is bolted to the bricks the damaged statue of St. James. The statue is handless. Saint James was decapitated, and so was this statue.
Before Lennon's Mass (there will be a Mass at St. James, the next morning) people take photographs and make final prayers. If you consult art history books, you will find the interior of St. James, Lakewood is closely modelled after the cathedrals of Cefalu and Monreale in Sicily. The insurance on this church is the greatest of any church in the diocese, and that includes the cathedral. The parish has more than 1400 registered families, that is 600 more than the cathedral. The marble columns are from Rome and Greece, some had done service in pagan times.
On the vault just inside the communion rail is a mural of the zodiac, it is as if the stars of heaven are to be witness.
Outside a crowd who loves the Church and the Faith, and hates the ignoble fate of this parish. It was late Saturday afternoon in the mid 80s F°. The doors and windows of the church had to be open so people would not swelter and wilt. During Richard Lennon's hackneyed speech following the Gospel, there was multiple sustained horn blasts from passing traffic on Detroit Avenue. At other times the crowd prayed Hail Marys very loudly. The four local television channels also came, as did the Lakewood Observer.
Some people reported to the folks outside that Lennon was "desanctifying" the church. This it could not be. He has a little remembrance ritual where he traipses through the church, and has people recall the sacraments they celebrated there. This is not desanctifying. If he had some emotion and sincerity, it might be something; it is nothing. Jesus (in the Eucharist) is still in the building. The altars are undisturbed, and there will be Mass the next day. It is still a functioning church after his exit. It is another notch in his closing procedure.
People have mulled about, in conversation, to begin a prayer service the next Sunday. They will be following the examples of Saint Casimir, and recently, Saint Patrick. The parish is still alive and has not been extinguished. It also has a three month extension under a Vatican review.
Legend has it that St. James returned to Spain to smote the moorish occupier.