Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Guest Submission III: A story of Daniel

One Sunday morning at the St Casimir weekly prayer vigil a little five year old boy named Daniel Fleszar asked,“Why do we stand outside? Why don't we go inside the church to pray?” . I replied the church is closed and locked. Daniel then said, Who did this?”. I said,“Our bishop”. Daniel replied, This is bad, you tell him to open it!.

As the words of this small child were relayed to his father, Wojtek, he too stated,“Daniel has asked me this many times. He sees this is wrong, just what do I tell him?.

The old folk saying, paraphrasing the Book of Psalms from the Old Testament is,
Out of the mouths of babes comes wisdom. If one thinks about it, adults can learn much from the innocence of children, that is if we listen to them. Children are often quite direct, and speak out the obvious truth, catching adults off-guard.

At a well attended Polish picnic, last Saturday, people were approaching this writer to inquire about the investigation of our bishop, Richard Lennon. The consensus was that our bishop needs to be removed. People were hungry for information. They wanted specifically to know who sent Bishop John Smith. They didn't believe that Bishop Lennon asked for an investigation.

On Saturday, July 16, Bishop Emeritus John Smith of Trenton, New Jersey, flew out of Cleveland after conducting interviews with members (both laity and clergy) of the Cleveland Diocese. From July 11 through July 15, the Jesuit Retreat House in Parma (originally St Stanislaus Kostka Novitiate) saw visitors who were eager to relate personal experiences regarding their parishes' closings, and how the Ordinary of the Cleveland Diocese conducted himself.

Interviewees gave statements and evidence of parish finances, campus facilities, church programs, and correspondence with the chancery. They were also asked about dealings with Bishop Lennon, his demeanor, and his leadership.

Fifteen parishes have appeals in Rome, however we know of only five who came to Parma to speak with Smith; all five (SS. Casimir, Emeric, James, Patrick, Wendelin) have street prayer vigils. It is unknown whether any other parishes, opened or closed, spoke with Bishop Smith. Bishop Emeritus Anthony Pilla would not confirm his meeting with Smith.

Greater Clevelanders are anxiously awaiting the results of Bishop Smith's visitation. In the meantime, an avalanche of correspondence is arriving in Trenton, New Jersey.

Even little Daniel will send a note to Bishop Smith. Of course his father, Wojtek, will do the writing for him. Daniel's parents were married at St. Casimir's. Daniel was baptised at St. Casimir's; and it is hoped that one day both, Daniel, and his baby sister, will make their First Communion there.

— Joseph Feckanin

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