Friday, September 30, 2011

More from St. Michael's

Outside the main entrance to St. Michael's on Scranton in Cleveland, there are two remaining archangels, Gabriel (who has lost his horn), and Raphael (who has retained the fish). Between the landmark pair of uneven steeples, on the gable point of the roof there is an empty pedestal. For years there had been a third archangel, Michael, 22 feet tall. Over time the statue deteriorated, and a fear that it would crash below had it removed. The head was saved and placed in the rectory garden. Saint Michael's is a beautiful and active church and parish. In the sunlight, with the electric lights out, the inside church is peaceful and very comforting. There is color and volume. The space on the perimeter surfaces in all three dimensions is full of image, and the large volume between wall, floor and ceiling gives a balance; and within this space there is calm suited to be near the presence of Jesus.Huge earthquakes hit Peru. A slave, whose name is lost to history, transported from Angola had painted a mural of Christ during His crucifixion on a wall in the poorest neighborhood in 1651. That image is called Señor de los Milagros de Nazarenas. Jesus, under that title is the patron of the city. Outside that wall converts, often slaves prayed. In 1655 earthquake, the building fell, but not the portion of the painted wall. This devotion of the poorest Peruvians became troublesome to the bishop and the government. It was ordered to be painted over and destroyed, attempts failed. Eventually a church was built around it. On the 20th of October 1687 a catastrophic earthquake hit, causing a tsunami in Japan. Most of Lima was destroyed, but not that painted wall. The 28th of October 1746 Lima, Peru was shook by another earthquake. Thousand died as thousands died during the other quakes, the painting survived. People came to that wall and began a procession, and the trembling stopped. The next year, when an oil painting copy of was mounted on a litter of Señor de los Milagros, a second painting accompanied it. It was that of the Ecuadorian Virgen de la Nube, Our Lady of the Cloud.

Every October it is borne on a silver litter by purple cloaked cargodores and taken through streets of Lima to visit churches. The processions start on the 18th. Crowds of a million are estimated in the city. Peruvians have brought this custom, with them, when they have emigrated. The first procession in the US, was in NYC 1972.

Cleveland's church of Saint Michael the Archangel joins in the observance, a little early in the month—this Sunday. It will be the tenth Cleveland procession.
a retablo of Señor de los Milagros, Our Lord of Miracles
Virgen de la Nube, Our Lady of the Cloud

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Taxiarch Michael

Michael the Archangel. Monastery of St. Catherine, Mt. Sinai, Egypt. 1200s


In the west we refer to the Michael and Gabriel as archangels. These two, amongst the Greeks are called 'ταξίαρχος (taxiarchos)', brigadiers, for they are leaders of the heavenly host.

Sáncte Míchael Archángele,
defénde nos in proélio,
cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
Ímperet ílli Déus, súpplices deprecámur:
tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis,
Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos,
qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in múndo,
divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde.

Prayer to St. Michael

Saint Michael the Archangel,

Defend us in battle;

Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil;

May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
And do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,

By the power of God, thrust into hell

Satan and all evil spirits

Who wander through the world
For the ruin of souls.

nota bene: there is more than one english translation using equivalent word substitutes, e.g.
ruin = perdition

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

St. John's Cemetery, Cleveland

St. John's had been the cathedral's parish graveyard. It is across the street from the City of Cleveland's Woodland Cemetery. There is a speed camera on the road between them, west of E.71st.

The first resident priest, John Dillon†1836 is buried at St. John's now (he had been first buried at Erie Street Cemetery, then in the cathedral), he shares a plot and stone with a Fr. James Conlan†1875. They were both born in County Leitrim, Ireland.

In the mid-XIXth century cemeteries were created outside towns. The city limits had been at what is now called East 55th, and then Willson Avenue. In 1906 many streets were renamed, so that police, firemen, postmen and others could find addresses more easily. This was one of the many reforms of Mayor Tom Johnson. Most streets that ran north-south were given numbers and designated as 'streets', whether east or west of Public Square's Ontario Street. Many streets that run west-east are designated 'avenues'. There are anomalies from old usages. East 9th Street used to be Erie Street. That is why Erie Street Cemetery is on 9th Street.

Maher Mausoleum 1876, entrance cement blocked up. Grass freshly mowed. Small forest and pasture growing on the walls, and roof.
In a previous essay, i wrote: “It was very important, and very promoted for Catholics to be buried only in hallowed grounds, which usually meant Catholic cemeteries.Cleveland's Catholic cemeteries are not discount operations, and over the years there has been financial irregularities in the management of funds. It also a great place to hide stuff.
see the following post on nearby St. Joseph's Cemetery: click

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A second veterans' plaque

broken plaque with once 239 veterans' names
Several people saw the television news broadcasts about the church's WWII veterans' plaque, and independently came to the site of St. Catharine's church Sunday afternoon. A 1958 graduate of St. Catharine's elementary found the second war veterans' honorary plaque (by turning a piece of wood over, which was it), that had been hanging opposite the other one. The wall which it was attached to is gone, and had fell into the rubble. About three-fourths of that plaque survived in the heap.

People were coming, and going all day Sunday. Another Catherine's graduate (class of 1962) and parishioner also came interested in the plaques and the sad fate of St. Catharine's. Four other Catholic parishioners from various parishes came too, and received possession of it from the demolition company, which had salvage rights, and this they did in front of four Cleveland policemen.

The diocese abandoned the church in 2008, and recently sold the remaining real estate it was sitting on. There was plenty of time to collect and save the plaques, and for that matter -- the pipe organ. That the diocese did not do, nor allow this to be done is indicative of the disregard, and disrespect the Bishop of Cleveland and his employees show parishioners. Friday, the chancellor, and spokesman for the diocese were notified of the one plaque. There was a second one which parishioners of St. Catharine's knew about, but other Catholics did not.
Sunday evening travelling north on Fleet in Cleveland, O.
Postscriptum 6.30 a.m. 28 September 2011:
Sometime on Monday 26 September, after this story become public, the diocese became vindictively and mendaciously interested in this story. On Friday, a television reporter and a concerned Catholic, independently of each other, discovered the first plaque. The Catholic notified the diocese and much of the local press on Friday. The reporter had an "online report" Friday. Saturday, and Sunday, and Monday morning the television reported on this (using still photographs sent by the concerned Catholic) -- the diocese made a statement, it is a gift, we don't return gifts.

Monday morning, four concerned Catholics and
the city council ward member, Ms. Mamie Mitchell spoke to the contractor, whom re-affirmed the events and promises of the day before. Two of the Catholics and Ms. Mitchell were interviewed by a television cameraman.

Tuesday morning, the city's newspaper reported that the diocesan spokesman is calling one of the several Catholics (whom retrieved the second discovered plaque from inside the rubble and received its possession from the demolition contractor, and was promised the second) a thief. He has since retained a lawyer, very well known to the diocese, since he is being pressured and publicly slandered. The slander was by Robert Tayek (the spokesman for the diocese), who manufactures ridiculous and outrageous lies continuously. He has just not been called on it, and continues to be a paid liar. Perhaps that is the real job description he has.
Ward 6 Councilman, Ms. Mamie Mitchell being interviewed by WKYC-3, in St. Catherine's parking lot.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Saint Catharine's falls

Saint Catharine's property is listed, to-day [a,b], for $495,000 on the diocesan realty internet site. A parcel transferred 8 August for $200,000 to Schoolhouse Finance LLC of Columbus, O. (Arlington Virginia). St. Catharine's is being torn down. To-day is the 5th day of demolition, which began on Monday. I saw the pipe organ go down in bits. As of an hour and a half ago, the front facade and bell tower were still standing.
Part of a rank of the longest diapason flue pipes of the pipe organ are making a final descent, from the left, water flows from a hose to keep the dust down.
From behind a large pile of soil the remaining exterior is visible, behind these bricks at the moment of photographing is a large vehicle with a front loader bucket that has gnawed away the rest of the building.
On an arch, there was painted these words from John i. xlix, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God”. Within two seconds it was mostly gone.
The plaque is from the Second World War. It is entitled, "Our Boys and Girls Serve their Country". Three chaplains are listed, and then 250 of the laity. Four names are preceded by a star (died in service?).

The parish was founded in 1898 as a mission, and then daughter parish, of Holy Name. Bishop Ignatius Horstmann founded thirty parishes in his episcopacy (1892-1908). He donated a marble statue of St. Catharine to the parish. He chose the patronal name to be that of his mother's patron saint, Catharine of Alexandria. The first church building burned in 1899, three months after its dedication. For the second church the statue was given. A grander building with an upper and lower church was built during the First World War [then known as the European War]. The first Mass in the new building was said in 1917. That building is now being destroyed.
rubble and tower
The last Mass held, was one of eviction. Richard Lennon presided at the last Masses of St. Henry, and St. Catherine on 30 December 2007. They were the fifth and sixth churches he closed in Cleveland. They merged with St. Timothy's. The Catharine statue is now at Timothy's.

former italian marble altar of St. Catharine's Church, once priced by an agent of the diocese for $200,000 sans statues, St. Catharine at center

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Money should only be for Republicans

The gall, hypocrisy, pettiness and nastiness of Republicans knows no limits. They fight dirty. They cheat. They lie. The double standards they apply are onerously ridiculous. This is irrefragable.

Elizabeth Warren has announced her candidacy for Edward Kennedy's Senate seat, now held by an former nude male pinup. Warren is a law professor at Harvard. The Republican party wants her pay to stop. Yes, the same party that wants corporations and millionaires to not pay taxes, wants a working woman to lose her income, because she wants to run against a Republican.

Warren knows of the ways of the banksters of Wall Street. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a new government agency. Elizabeth Warren could have been its first leader. The Senate Republicans would have done anything to block that, because she would have been able, and would have done what the job required. Republicans do not want effective governance. Republicans do not believe in the concept of consumer financial protection. President Obama avoids standing up for real Democrats against Republicans oftentimes.

You can watch and hear her recently on youtube, attacking the lying, absurd, nonsense the Republicans are spewing in their orwellian 'class warfare' :
“I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever. No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody.
“You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did.
“Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless — keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chalk Fest

In front of Cleveland's Art Museum was a Chalk Fest. Parents with children, young artists and people with cameras enjoyed the last weekend in summer. They were selling boxes of colored chalk. People were free to draw and color. Most people tried not to step on the pictures. Walking through the path midst distracted kids, and oblivious gawkers, and haphazard sandstone canvases was easier done by folks of nimble feet. It was an interested, and quiet crowd.
Some people imitated great works, such as Michelangelo's 'David'.
Others tried far simpler artists. You have to get your books out to see, if this is a Mondrian, or just one in the style of one.Someone liked Jan Vermeer's, 'Girl with Pearl Ear Ring'Someone liked Jan Vermeer's, 'Girl with Pearl Earring'[Het Meisje met de Parel]. Are her eyes supposed to be that big? Two fellows were working on this base ball series. I was to impatient to wait for a moment in which both could be framed without shadows and interlopers.
This sweet, young woman is in the process of creating, 'Peace, Love, and ...'.
One of several animal pictures. Several well known, and new cartoon characters were also a favorite subject. My nephew, jokingly, advised me that i might be liable for copyright infringement by Disney, Sony, or some other. All in all, these works were far better than the stuff in room 225 inside.
And the one only ironic one, which was also, the only political one in the kit-and-kaboodle.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

pro patria mori

To be born in one land, and to die in another. On a gravestone, it is not a novel inscribed; but in a few characters a story is limned. An historian, an antiquarian, or some sort of researcher may be able to uncover more details. One could search for relatives to interview. Often, after the passage of a certain number of years, no one knows more than the marks inscribed. Yet, those marks have some instructive value. St. John's Cemetery, Cleveland. Sargeant James Kelly. Company B, 8th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Wounded at Gettysburg. July 3, 1863. Born in Ireland March 3, 1836. Died July 7, 1863. May his soul rest in peace.
Kelly was an immigrant to America [when did he arrive?]. He died four days after being wounded in the most famous of that war's many, many battles — Gettysburg. The name is Irish. The stone has the clover, the Irish will have you know, is the shamrock. The stone also has a cross, and sits in a Catholic cemetery. It was very important, and very promoted for Catholics to be buried only in hallowed grounds, which usually meant Catholic cemeteries.
Woodland Cemetery, Cleveland. 7th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. War for the Union 1861-1865.
Woodland Cemetery was the City of Cleveland's most important public cemetery in the XIXth century. It opened in 1853, and was conveniently available for the war dead. Near the main entrance there are two large monuments for two regiments [23rd, 7th] of infantry. The one for the 23rd was dedicated on August 1, 1865, just a few months after the end of combat. The names of the war dead are written on all four sides, of the lower portion, of the monument. The number is almost evenly divided by those who died in action, and those that died by disease. Remember, the four horseman are war, famine, death, and pestilence.

The other [1872] is harder to read, for the engraving in the color of stone. Raised lettering is easy to read. It has four freshly restored, union painted, rifled cannons [West Point Foundry] defending it. The regiment was infantry.

That war had many names, but in Cleveland, at that time, it was called 'War for the Union'. The Republicans were successful politically. There were no Republicans in the South. To-day, things have changed. The South is full of Republicans, and no Republicans would use the term—'War for the Union'.

Woodland Cemetery, Cleveland. Alfred J. Straka. Born July 5, 1895. Died May 26, 1914 at Vera Cruz Mexico in the service of United States Navy.
I heard Woodrow Wilson's guns
I heard Maria calling
Saying, "Veracruz is dying
And Cuernavaca's falling"
Veracruz. Warren Zevon and Jorge Calderon
That Battle of Vera Cruz took place 21-24 April 1914. The Mexicans were having a civil war. The US occupied Vera Cruz to 23 November. Twenty two American servicemen were listed as dead. This fellow, presumably, was one.
Lake View Cemetery. John S. Allen 1893-1918. Private, Company M 18th Infantry American Expeditionary Force. Died from wounds received in action Argonne France.
The Battle for the Argonne Forest was the last offensive of the War to end all wars. It began 26 September 1918. It was the largest American engagement in the war. It was the only engagement for most Americans. It was the deadliest battle that Americans ever engaged in. America does not remember this one. This was the big one. The American Expeditionary Force (an honest name), fought along side the 4th and 5th French Armies, against the German Fifth. The Allied Forces were more than twice the size of the Germans, and suffered more casualties. The Americans were of a larger population than the Germans, and this was the first of their troops. The Germans agreed to an Armistice.

The only surviving veteran of World War I is an English waitress, that signed up in 1918. She is 110 years old, Florence Beatrice Green (née Patterson, born 19 February 1901).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bishops, bullet holes, and butts

Some parishes were saved from Lennon's destruction. One that survived, and was not certain until they read the letter of 14 March '09, was Saint Michael the Archangel. Saint Michael's had some old debt then demanded by the diocese. Nearby Blessed Sacrament, St. Procop, and St. Barbara had cash reserves and were closed. Saint Michael is now debt free, money from Blessed Sacrament's patrimony was used to pay off the bishop's demands.
El Señor de los Milagros (with the Trinity; Mary, Mother of Sorrow; Mary Magdalen)
Saint Michael's had been a German parish, it is now a territorial parish with a congregation of the Americas. There are English, and Spanish language Masses offered. There is a lively sacramental and devotional life at Michael's. There is a Good Friday procession between La Sagrada Familia and Michael's stopping at Patrick's. There is an October procession of the Peruvian celebration of El Señor de los Milagros, people parade in purple. Holy Name Society is active, as are some other parish organisations.

The first pastor was Bohemian born, Joseph Koudelka. He was administrator of St. Procop, while he was a deacon. He was later pastor for more than one church simultaneously. He was sent to Europe to recruit priests for Slavonic parishes. He was the first auxiliary bishop in Cleveland. Few English speaking priests came to his ordination 1908. Later he was a bishop in Wisconsin.

Koudelka oversaw the building of Saint Michael's, he was also an artist. It is an example of high gothic revival, now blackened from years of steel mill, factory, and vehicle soot. It, once even more than now, did not have undecorated space; an art term would be 'horror vacui' or 'cenophobia'. Its complement of statues was over an hundred. This artistic busyness, in a church, is meant to be both beautiful and instructive. What is physically distinct from a great distance and many spots are the two dissimilar spires. A while back, July 2009 (after the letter) the larger spire's cross was taken down, at the insistence of a restoration contractor. The verdigris copper cross had been there for more than a century. It's wooden base suffered some rot. It has a few bullet holes. It now stands, near the center of the nave wall, near the main entrance. A replica cross is planned to replace it, when funds allow. A continuing restoration is in progress, inside and out.
exit hole
In one of the holy water founts in the narthex someone dropped a cigarette butt. It was dissolving. The doors were wide open. A beautiful church, with a welcoming congregation is open to even disturbed, and disrespectful people. There were several incidents in the past. The building has been spray painted. The neighborhood is not so comfortably hospitable. I remember, indistinctly, the sexual assault of a religious sister by a man hired for occasional work.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Path to Freedom

Susan Schultz. Path to Freedom. Sandusky. 2007.
...During ten or fifteen years I had been, as it were, dragging a heavy chain which no strength of mine could break; I was not only a slave, but a slave for life. I might become a husband, a father, an aged man, but through all, from birth to death, from the cradle to the grave, I had felt myself doomed. All efforts I had previously made to secure my freedom had not only failed, but had seemed only to rivet my fetters the more firmly, and to render my escape more difficult. Baffled, entangled, and discouraged, I had at times asked myself the question, May not my condition after all be God's work, and ordered for a wise purpose, and if so, Is not submission my duty? A contest had in fact been going on in my mind for a long time, between the clear consciousness of right and the plausible make-shifts of theology and superstition. The one held me an abject slave--a prisoner for life, punished for some transgression in which I had no lot nor part; and the other counseled me to manly endeavor to secure my freedom. This contest was now ended; my chains were broken, and the victory brought me unspeakable joy.

But my gladness was short-lived, for I was not yet out of the reach and power of the slave-holders. I soon found that New York was not quite so free or so safe a refuge as I had supposed, and a sense of loneliness and insecurity again oppressed me most sadly. ...
—Frederick Douglass. My Escape from Slavery. 1881
In a small, very well landscaped, park near the Lake Erie shore in Sandusky, Ohio there is a wonderful sculpture. It is avant-gard in material, and philosophy; but is done with genuine talent. It is a well conceived historical monument. It delivers an important narrative, and is surrounded with short stone stanchions with foto etched tablets and script atop.

It is concerned with the Underground Railroad. Josiah Henson's autobiography was published in 1849. He, and his family, escaped slavery in Kentucky, and went north to Sandusky in 1830. By lake vessel he made Buffalo, and across the Niagara to freedom. Harriet Beecher Stowe takes his story into her novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin. Henson would return through Sandusky to help others escape slavery. Sandusky was a gate to freedom in her novel.

People to quickly want to forget, or acknowledge that slavery existed in the United States. Even in the 'free states' an ex-slave could be captured and returned to slavery. This was formalised by the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Those who helped runaways were also susceptible to legal punishment. Ontario (Upper Province of Canada) was free from slavery in 1793, and would not not return slaves. Leaving the United States for Canada was a journey of freedom.
The sculpture uses 800' of chain. Its links are welded together to form the bodies. There is an invisible vertical plane (as in science fiction) that is being crossed (or entered) by the male figure. Beyond the crossing, the man's face, an arm and a knee are solid and smooth of bronze, and not iron chain.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Casimiri remember the date

a sign and candle left by the Casimiri after the street vigil

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"You are amongst a cloud of witnesses"

The cornerstone is in two languages, and two alphabets, and commemorates two sister faiths: Russian Orthodox, and Greek Catholics. There were few Russians in Cleveland at the end of the XIXth century, and beginning of the XXth. A Rusyn (Ruthenian) community from the eastern Austrian empire came earlier. For this the third, parish temple, the tsar of all the Russias, Nicholas II donated money (Russian Missionary Fund). It was then, the first Orthodox church in Ohio, and the members were all converts. The church was modelled after the Cathedral Church of Christ the Savior, Moscow, the church built after Napoleon left, and was later dynamited to dust by Stalin, and has been built new again. It had been modelled after Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. The faith is continuous from the old countries to the new.

At the time of founding, the people wanted the parish named after St. Nicholas. Nicholas, bishop in San Francisco (Diocese of the Aleutians and North America) chose, the newly canonised, St. Theodosius of Chernigov. To-day, St. Theodosius celebrated the 100th anniversary of the church building. The parish is from 1896, but this building is only a century. Matthias, the Bishop of Chicago and the Middle West came for the Hierarchical Liturgy and celebrations.

One window in the church is that of St. Alexis Toth. Toth was a Greek Catholic priest who quarrelled with the Latin-rite archbishop of St. Paul, John Ireland. Ireland had no jurisdiction, but a great antipathy towards the eastern rites. Toth and many thousands of Greek Catholics (then also called Uniats, and now Byzantines) left Rome for Eastern Orthodoxy. Toth is the patron saint of the Middle West.

In his homily, Bishop Matthias said the pictures on the glass, those painted on the walls, and icon screen represent a cloud of witnesses. The saints are praying for you to join them in the cloud. You are more important than the building. The foundation of the church is Christ. When you take the Body and Blood of Christ from the chalice, you become a chalice, a church. Yet, the event was a fond celebration of the building. How does this compare with Cleveland's Roman rite bishop, who celebrate's neither the buildings, the art within it, or the nationalities of the people who built it, with their then laborer's wage of 10, and 12¢ an hour?

Before the Divine Liturgy, an ordination of minor orders took place. New subdeacons, readers (lectors), taper bearers were created. If one thinks the Latin Church has too much pageantry, he could not stand [and stand he must during virtually the entire service, outside the homily] the Orthodox. It is still one in beauty, and truth of the one faith, sadly separated in two portions.

reading of the Gospel
Iconostasis, and portions of walls and ceilings, the Orthodox share an aversion of empty space
After Liturgy, and veneration of the Cross, the rain had finally stopped. This allowed for a photograph to be taken outside of the assembly. Archpriest, and Dean, John Zdinak arranges the multitude in front of the photographer. Yes, this is the church in the film, The Deerhunter.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

a national catholic tragedy of injustice

Many, the majority, of the essays on this site have touched on the ruthless campaign to close ethnic churches in the diocese of Cleveland, Ohio. This includes the cities of Akron, Lorain and Elyria. Cleveland has suffered under a tyrannical bishop [Lennon], who may soon be going. This area has not been alone in this sort of manoeuvring, it has been from Boston, Massachusetts to Saint Paul, Minnesota. This co-ordinated campaign of ethnic cleansing has been covered in mass deception, in lies too numerous to list, and greed, and a deep contempt.

The institutions outside the church are not willing to speak up. They do not like giving another institution a 'hard time'. They are also worried of accusations of being 'anti-religious', or 'anti-catholic' being used against them. It is partly an old boy's network, cowardice, and indifference.

I have been notified, by two local people involved in saving churches, of an editorial in a Buffalo newspaper. The journal is published in the Buffalo suburb of Boston, New York, the Polish American Journal. It accurately sums up the story in this month's edition [September 2011]. It is worth reading. It is also noteworthy in the intransigence shown by their local bishop, Edward Kmiec. He is at the age of mandatory retirement, and he does not relent, or show charity. A bishop, is by definition, the chief teacher and pastor in the diocese. A pastor (shepherd) is to be concerned with all of his flock. What we get instead, is a local monarch, whom believes he is unaccountable, and rules like faro of old.

please see and read:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rumour of change

Rumour upon rumour, we have been hearing of the eventual departure of Dickie Lennon. We were ready last autumn, but as Advent began, that hope ended. Now, we hear after this summer recess. A cover story of surgery has been floated both times.

We have had an informal visitation, and a public visitation. Rome has been given much paperwork.

Is he going? And if he does, will there be reparations? This diocese has been devastated in the effected areas of Akron, Cleveland, Elyria and Lorain. Of course, many are oblivious.

If we receive successful appeals of parishes or churches to be open, will they be allowed to do so without foot dragging or sabotage? The reign of Dick the Destroyer has been a deal of destruction. And our priest corps, with the exception of one, or two, or three at the most have not supported us in public.

The damage has been done. Will we have a good bishop, who has real pastoral concern? The entire diocese is a community, but so is EACH parish, and under canon law each parish is a person. We as people have been abused by the powers that be in the church. I have proposed that our bishop (really every bishop) should have personal integrity, pastoral concern, and a measure of humility. Really, not much different than the requirements St. Paul the Apostle set down.

Beyond Lennon, there are many bad actors within the diocese. We need them to come clean and be chastened. What of the future of the local church, and the whole church? The future is an unknown land. Good comes from good, and bad comes from bad. It is to our benefit for the good to be done. We owe it to ourselves and to God.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Cross

Fritz Eichenberg. Labor Cross. 1954.
Fritz Eichenberg *1901,1990† was an illustrator of the Russian novel. He carved wooden engravings, and was a lithographer. He left Nazi-Germany in its first year. In America he found some work with Roosevelt's WPA. In 1940 he became a Quaker. In 1949 he became an associate of Dorothy Day. To her newspaper, The Catholic Worker, he gave many pieces to be printed, often of the saints. His passion was expressed in a concerned social realism, that was immediately apparent in his art.

I saw twelve of his prints at Our Lady of Fatima in Hough, Cleveland, O. One was 'Labor Cross'. Perhaps, his most reproduced religious print is Christ of the Breadline. There is one in the basement of Saint Augustine's, Cleveland. I wonder if a suburban parish has an Eichenberg drawing?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Parish-in-exile continues

The Parish-in-exile continues to act as a parish. A child member has cerebral palsy, members banded together and recruited others to have a grand fundraising supper. A sum of money helped to defray a medical trip to Poland for helpful treatment. He and his mother have returned, and have been at the street prayer service.
This week past, a family took it on themselves to rehabilitate an outdoor Marian statue. They removed all the old layers of paint, and put a fresh finish on it. No parish funds were used. Of course, they have no access to the hundreds of thousands that have been taken. They have no access to the inside of the church. This statue was across the street, outside the convent.

Saint Casimir (often pronounced 'kas·mer') Cleveland, west of Rockefeller Park, between St. Clair and Superior, on E.82, by the streets with the Polish names (Pulaski, Sowinski, Kosciuszko) is continuing. Dick 'the Destroyer' Lennon forcibly suppressed the parish backed by the presence of a police squadron, and was continuously peddling their property. The parish still meets each, and every, Sunday morning at 11.30 a.m.

If the long, awaited decision comes to re-open the church/parish comes, this people are ready to continue church life, as if no interruption occurred. And if they are greeted by a new bishop, it would be a grand homecoming. Certainly, there are other parishes in similar stances and stases.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

the good Republicans

Recently, i saw a picture of, perhaps, the three craziest Republicans in Congress. Crazier than shit house rats, Louie Gohmert, Michele Bachmann and Stephen King. It doesn't stop there; Georgia has Gingrey, Broun, Kingston, then there is Texas. We also have Eric Cantor, now hyper-hypocritical about spending on emergencies. The earthquake was centered within his Virginia district. We see Böhner refusing Wednesday to President Obama for a speech before Congress. It is almost without fail, that every time any Republican makes the news, it is for aggravated stupidity, obnoxiousness, or worse. We see Gunner Cheney on talk shows promoting a book of lies. Cheney, who was wrong on everything, is a remorseless war criminal, that will admit nothing was wrong.

Now for a little 'fair and balanced', i will discuss all the good the Republican party, and Republicans have done in the United States in the last generation: Ø

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How we once chose a bishop

“No one who is unwanted should be made a bishop; the desire and consent of the clergy and the people and the order is required.” —Saint Celestine I (pope 422-432)

“The one who is to be head over all should be elected by all.”— Saint Leo the Great (pope 440-461)

“It is essential to exclude all those unwanted and unasked for, if the people are not to be crossed and end by despising or hating their bishop. If they cannot have the candidate they desire, the people may all turn away from religion unduly.” —Leo the Great
In the time before the legalisation of Christianity [Edict of Milan, 313], bishops were elected by all adult Christians in the parochia [the term 'diocese' was an imperial replacement]. St. Cyprian 258†, bishop of Carthage, wrote, quoting Paul to Timothy “that a bishop must not be 'litigious, nor contentious, but gentle and teachable.' ”* Cyprian also wrote, the people should not yield “their consent to the unjust and unlawful episcopacy of their overseer... since they themselves have the power either of choosing worthy priests and of rejecting unworthy ones.”**

There were bishops that were unanimously elected: the beautiful story of
Fabian (a, b, c) coming to Rome [236] just as they were debating who should be the new pope, and when a dove perched on his head, he was chosen by that assembly of all believers as pope; Ambrose was a governor of Milan [373], he was a layman whilst people were debating who the next bishop would be, a child cried out, that, Ambrose should be, and he soon was.

Now all of this has been mentioned in a book by Joseph F. O'Callaghan, Electing our bishops: how the Catholic Church should choose its leaders. I knew the stories of the elections of Fabian, and Ambrose as a child. My father, who went to two years of school in the old country, had told me, and his family had been clericalists; but he knew the most ancient of some of the Slavs were pure democrats who embodied the social contract.
*Epistle LXXIII. To Pompey... paragraph x.
“Not given to wine, no striker, but modest, not quarrelsome, not covetous, but” — I Timothy iii. 3.
“For a bishop must be without crime, as the steward of God: not proud, not subject to anger, not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre: But given to hospitality, gentle, sober, just, holy, continent: Embracing that faithful word which is according to doctrine, that he may be able to exhort in sound doctrine, and to convince the gainsayers.” — Titus i. 7-9.
**Epistle LXVII. ....concerning Basilides and Martial. paragraph iii. Method for the Easy Understanding of History, 1566, Six livres de la Republique Paris, 1576. Also written earlier, a chronicle by John of Viktring (Johannes Victoriensis, Abbot of Viktring/Vetrinj), †1347, Liber certarum historiarum.