Parish Souvenirs • Cleveland ·Akron · Lorain
In French: (se) souvenir means to remember, from Latin subvenire to come up, come to mind. Je me souviens is the motto of Quebec, it means "I remember". The english canadienes ask, often mockingly, remember what? This sentence is so simple, and so full. I (we) remember all that has passed, the glories, the hardships, the beauty, those who have gone before us, some that we knew. We have not forgotten, we cannot forget, we will not forget.
Now, to lose a few more readers: Marty Haugen (who never was catholic, but has created much current liturgical music) wrote, We Remember. The last words of the refrain (we remember, we celebrate, we believe) are sung as a moving, musical phrase.
In the last five years church closings have hit northeast Ohio. Holy Ghost Byzantine was one, both Broadway and Brooklyn Methodist were others; but by far the most drastic hits were on the western Catholic parishes. There are 58 less of them, currently.
For most of them, one cannot enter again, or not enter as before. A couple (Mary, Christ the King in Akron) still have Liturgies for school children, a chapel-of-ease. One was sold to a drug rehab organisation (Hedwig, Akron). A couple have new protestant congregations (Holy Cross, Sacred Heart in Elyria). One is to house religious statues as a private museum (Hedwig, Lakewood). St. Ladislaus in Lorain has been sold. Rumor has St. Lawrence sold, but the chancery is not talking to the parishioners or the priests of St. Lawrence. One has been razed and replaced by an office building (St. Jude). One has been razed and rumored to be sold as a parking lot (St. Andrew). The City of Euclid has bought St. Robert's. The Community of St. Malachi had no property.
So what do the people have left? Souvenirs and memories. A new website will include images and documents. Some manner of addition will be created. This has not been worked out, yet.