Sunday, December 4, 2011

Saint Barbara, Cleveland

The neighborhood around St. Barbara, Cleveland is called by the Polish people 'Barbarowa'. To-day was their feast day.
To-day, Sunday at 3 o'clock outside Saint Barbara's closed church on 1505 Denison, in Cleveland, at the end of an exit ramp of Jennings' Freeway [I-176], there met some of Saint Barbara's Parish on their patronal Feast Day (4 December, Saint Barbara's Day). It rained before people fully assembled. It rained throughout the sidewalk service and celebration. They came, they stayed, they sang, they prayed [Chaplet of Divine Mercy], they were a parish engaging in communal life.
Some stories persist, even when they are suppressed. As many of you surely know, there has been an orchestrated, and largely successful campaign by the chancery of the Roman-rite Catholic Diocese in Cleveland of "get along, there is nothing to see here". We all know, this is the same lie police forces give to chase people away from assembling. Something is to be seen. All of the laity will not disperse by a lennonist ukase.
The ruthless, and ongoing consolidation of episcopal power and the reduction of the laity and parish life is not over. There are some who, often very timidly but still, resist. There is a handful of evicted parishes that still meet. They meet outside (of the campus they were evicted from). The whole world can see them. This is evidence that a few do publicly continue their communal religious identity.

These Catholics met as a Christian community for the world to see. Amongst other things, they prayed for the recovery and return of their church. Yes, for Rome to reverse Lennon's injustice towards them.

Some had not been to the site since eviction. Many had not sen each other since. They renewed their acquaintances. They noticed the air conditioning units were stolen, the aluminum flag pole was cut off at the base. Scrap salvagers are profiting from the parish's eviction too.
interviewing parishioners Christine Dziedzina and Michael Minich
Channel WJW-8 sent a cameraman. He came at 4 o'clock. The people continued to sing, another seven songs or so. They sang in English, they sang in Polish. Part of the repertoire was borrowed from the Casimiri, the exiled parishioners of another Polish parish, whom have met every week since their eviction (more than two years ago).

Representatives of some ten diocesan churches [opened and closed] came. A representative from Congressman Dennis Kucinich's staff came representing him and sending his support and feelings of solidarity. No one has ever openly came from the bishop's office to any such prayer event to share in the Christian commonweal.
Two different people had cards printed. Both used the same picture.

1 comment:

  1. It was a very touching ceremony at St. Barbara Church on the feast day of St. Barbara. The holy cards will be treasured by all in attendance.