Sunday, August 22, 2010

8-8 Eucharistic Solidarity

A restorative gathering of christians took place at Saint Colman's (Cleveland). They celebrated a Mass of Eucharistic Solidarity. 8 August was the anniversary of the second atomic bombing. Nagasaki was the only christian city in Japan. It suffered more than decimation, it was obliterated as the bomb detonated above the cathedral.

At Saint Colman there was an unique intention for the Liturgy -- Eucharistic Solidarity. Solidarity is a most catholic concept. It is serendipitous, then, that the name of the movement, that began at the Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk, that led to the fall of communist tyranny in Europe (outside of Jugoslavija), is Solidarity.

Cleveland's diocese has been reduced through malicious dispossession into the diocese of Lennongrad. Many parishioners have been displaced. Many of these former communist countries produced displaced persons, 'DPs' for short. In Cleveland and elsewhere 'DP' was used most disparagingly, often with the same contempt to the individual as the term 'nigger' was towards other people. These 'DPs' went to 'DP' churches. Now many of these churches have been displaced, and we have a large cohort of displaced parishioners -- a new generation of 'DPs'.

Cleveland had a parish that was, perhaps, an uniquity -- the Community of Saint Malachi. It was granted parish status by Bishop James Hickey in 1975. Canon Law 516 refers to a quasi-parish as "a definite community of the Christian faithful". Also, it is "equivalent to a parish", but not erected as one yet. In 1975 it was. Now, that Community existed without a physical structure. It cohabited with the Parish of Saint Malachi. They are now in an unhappy merger.

Some members approached Fr. Robert Begin of Colman's for a Mass. Colman's parish invited members of other closed parishes for the Mass of Eucharistic Solidarity. More than four hundred came. The Mass's entrance number was performed in hungarian by members of St. Emeric's. The displaced from other parishes acted as lectors, and Eucharistic ministers. The lengthy Communion distribution allowed a second song, the spiritual that sings of the discouraged whom feel their prayers are in vain, but there is a Balm in Gilead, that makes the wounded whole.

Before the Eucharistic Liturgy, there is the Liturgy of the Word which includes an homily. Father Bob spoke of economic liberalism which judges as good all that makes money. Criminals also follow that premise to the same conclusion. Unguided youth see what society judges as successful (good), just as economic liberalism and crime does; but all that which brings more money is not the real good. These old neighborhoods with old churches now closed, often in a heavy handed manner, is not to the good, and they might have been able to teach those children the truth.

In the closing comments of the homily, Father Begin described the injustice of forced parish closures, and their lack of clarity and charity. He also mentioned the harsh blow that was done to the 'freedom of association' all catholics are entitled to. After the Mass, nearly half retreated to the former crypt church, that now serves as a social hall, to exercise the opportunity to associate in an opportunity not available in the diocesan 'reconfiguration' of eviction and suppression. A lengthy coffee 'hour' was enjoyed. The bishop's paper sent a writer and photographer, no chancery personnel were involved in the events otherwise.

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