Monday, May 30, 2011
the altar, and early arrivals
The church itself was denied them for three hours short of a year exact. They did have Mass to-day. The celebrant had been an associate there, a few years ago. Before Mass, he had two announcements: the first was about the Communion Hosts, They would be broken up [he did not expect such a turnout], none-the-less, the size does not matter It is fully the Sacrament, and since it might be windy, and the ground is uneven, take care, and we will come to you to distribute; the second was a scolding of the congregation, and a solid, if extreme, defense of the bishop, do not think this improves your hope of re-opening, this is a Mass and however close the political underlying message is to the surface — discount it, you were closed for lack of your financial support [he mentioned this again as an aside in the homily].
The Mass is always a political act. Jesus was condemned as a political prisoner and executed. Mass has been celebrated, often against the wishes of the powers that be (whether they were protestants, turks, communists, fascists, atheists or madmen).
Saint Patrick 'owed' assessments to the chancery, perhaps two score of the parishes had healthy bank accounts; if finances were paramount, then those parishes should be open now. And of course, at times, finances were not the reason why parishes were closed; every rationale offered, has also been denied. Saint Patrick's was one of few territorial parishes closed, the nationality parishes were flush with money.
The altar table and most of the congregants were in the shade of a maple tree higher than the utility poles, but not as high as the church. There was plenty of traffic noise. The parish is under the landing approach of the aeroport. It is not as much a flight lane, as a flight groove. Aeroplanes barely cleared the church, and were often, laterally, within fifty feet of direct vertical of the Mass.
Communion was distributed. Near the end, there were two Portions that fell. They were scooped up, one by the priest, and one by the extra-ordinary minister and eaten. Catholics believe the Host is truly the Body of Christ, and it would be an insult to the Deity to be left alone upon the ground.
After Mass, many stayed for a Rosary. They believe Mary, the Mother of God, will hear their petitions.
Now, Saint Joan was belatedly canonised. Her case was written in the transcripts of her trial. She held up under the persecution of Bishop Cauchon, an employee of the english government in occupied France. She was faultless in her faith.
She became the spirit of French resistance for all time. This accidental warrior was in the popular imagination a knight. In World War I, she became a propaganda poster to sell US war bonds. Her image has been used to sell cheese, and all sorts of things. Her story has been told in wonderful plays and movies, and in wretched ones.
Ste. Jeanne d'Arc is what we wish her to be. She will always be connected with a romanticism of bravery, a constancy of divine purpose. The shortened form of the answer she gave to a woman, whom asked her why go on such a dangerous path?, has been, “I am not afraid. I was born to do this.”
Poster created by Tom Pepper for Mohawk College, Brantford Ontario.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
An impressive thunderstorm rolled through western Cuyahoga county in the half hour before 8 p.m.. Just before 8 it diminished to a dripping, that ended. People came out of their cars to begin the vigil. To-night, they held the candlelight vigil at 8 p.m., after the storm cleared. It was the second vigil of the day. They had their regular Sunday vigil at 11.30 a.m..
The year was to the final grains in the sandglass. On the morrow it would be the anniversary for Annunciation and Saint Patrick West Park suffering Masses of Eviction. Lennon closed two down that day [a priest is not allowed to say three Masses on one day]. Annunciation did not protest. Their money has been deposited, and their real estate sold to a scab chain of schools (David L. Brennan's White Hat Mgt./Hope Academies) the owner of which has lobbied the diocese, and Republican legislators and other state politicians since 1998. Patrick's is still under appeal.
The vigilers sang, prayed, lit candles and marched around the outside of the church. They were joined by a couple of Casimiri in solidarity. After they broke up, a trio of luminaries made from plastic gallon jugs were left on the top of the steps.
To-morrow on the graveyard adjacent to the church there is a Mass scheduled at 10.30 a.m.. To get permission for the Mass a walk from Caiaphas to Pilate was done. It will be both Memorial Day for the fallen veterans, and the closing of the parish church. The parish is still in existence, obviously, but is not recognised by many, and there is a desire for people to forget. Some still remember.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Tuscaloosa is the home of the University of Alabama, the Crimson Tide. Over forty percent of the population of the city is african-american. The county sends seven representatives to the state house. Until a few hours ago, four were Republicans. The house has 95 members, 66 were Republican. Now without looking at individuals, one immediately comes to some conclusions, that, the Republicans can do whatever they want legislatively in the chamber (and they do) (the other chamber and the governorship is also controlled by the same party); the state is slightly more than a quarter black, several of the house members must be african-americans, meaning that there are few white Democrats.
The Republican wave of November 2010 (their most successful since 1928, pre-Roosevelt) was successful in the south too. Now, one Republican has had too much, Daniel Boman. Mr. Boman has changed parties. This does nothing to change power in Alabama, but is a coming tide going to roll upon the beaches and sweep away the ruthless recklessness of Republican revels?
It is apparent that an half year after the last general elections there is much voter remorse. Walker would be recalled and voted out of office to-day. The other new governors of Republican overreach (Kasich, LePage, Scott...) would never win election to-day. Fortunate are they that such is not the case.
The Republicans and their corporate masters ginned up the electorate extremely effectively. Now, after getting their desires the bankers, oil men and other moneyed interests are trying to implement their programme. People are finally realising how vicious it is, and how they were duped. The examples can go on for pages for national and state items.
Part of the lies were the calls for jobs. Rob Portman won an Ohio seat in the US Senate by disingenuously repeating nonsense about the 'Portman Plan for Jobs'. What has he delivered? Metaphorical bullshit cannot be transported in a wheelbarrow for the fields. It is nothing but empty lies.
Paul Ryan (Wisc. R) has this grand worship of Ayn Rand, and wishes to keep subsidies to the oil industry, cut taxes for other millionaires and abolish Medicare, and this he insists magically balances the budget. People can be fooled for only so long, but they can be further distracted. It is quite discernible, the repukes want an all powerful oligarchy to replace representative democracy. At first they will need the electorate to allow them. They cannot do it yet, so they need to continually deceive the voters on the national level, and state by state. They did so in 2010. With the November victories they rushed to implement, and it has become apparent to many whom were duped how onerous their plans are. The outcome for 2012 will not be that.
The bill that Rep. Boman could not accept was one that makes it easier to fire teachers. When Republicans (and many others) wish to do something evil, they use euphemistic [lying] language. Here they call the bill, 'Students First Act'. This is not the most extreme bill against teachers made by a Republican legislature this year, but it is of the same nature. These teabagging repukes, whether they be in Alabama, Ohio, Wisconsin, Maine or elsewhere, are all the same. The elimination of the rights of workers is part of their agenda — 'All power to the ruling class'.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
It is a good way to share the performance of traditional arts. A girl supra plays the family's guzheng, a plucked zither with bridges. Infra, a trio of drummers playing japanese drums (taiko). The drums are rearranged for each number. Part of the ensemble performance is near acrobatic choreography. In this group none are Japanese, the love of this art attracted gaijin. There were two other taiko companies that also performed during the fest.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
It is reported, that, he [Harold Camping] spent millions of his own stash of cash on advertising. Billboards, some with a gold seal with the words “The Bible Guarantees It” are part of the message. Not all of the billboards have that presentation, and the smug certainty, of that phrase, galls me the most. Each crackpot speaks ex-cathedra on his personal interpretation, that is binding to all. The first i had seen of this particular Last Day (Zadnji Dan, Ultimo Giorno, Dernier Jour...), a girl was handing out leaflets on the side of the cathedral during the St. Patrick parade. At that moment, i was not amused. I now regret not allowing a family member to take one of the tracts.
The American Protestant patois is ‘rapture’. This is borrowed from a fellow named John Nelson Darby [he also invented the term ‘dispensationalism’] in victorian Britain, who was an original in the sect Garrison Keillor grew up in. Some have given it a theme song, “I’ll Fly Away”. This was a shape note gospel song that found its way to bluegrass. Albert Brumley created it in 1929 while picking cotton, i don't know how much theology he was suggesting. He had an earlier song in mind, he was thinking “actually, I was dreaming of flying away from that cotton field when I wrote I’ll Fly Away”. The term ‘rapture’ in Catholic theology is considered ‘bullshit’.
There has been some media coverage on this in the last few days. What think you, when the gulled will awaken Sunday morning to find themselves earthbound with nothing other than ordinary troubles striking civilisation?
Gary Trudeau [a Catholic], the cartoonist, saw this coming and he devoted this past week to it. The ‘stoner’ Zonker quotes the proper Matthew [xxiv. 36] quotation that should shut these idjiots [sic] down, or up. To-day he quoted Paul, “For yourselves know perfectly, that the day of the Lord shall so come, as a thief in the night.” It is the job of the jester to tell truth and deflate balloons of hot air.
The conjunction (and, or) is the quickest way of connecting two thoughts, so that, from any point, one can go to any point. Greater Cleveland in the bicentennial year had fireworks. It was not just Bob Hope at Municipal Stadium for a doubleheader on Independence Day. Cleveland likes fireworks. That year Cleveland was ‘Bomb City USA’. The mafiosi were clearing their benches, something the police could not do.
Those bombs caused personal apocalypses for some. Recently, a movie, Kill the Irishman, was released about Danny Greene, the Cleveland gangster. It was filmed a couple of years ago in Detroit, apparently Cleveland could not fill in as Cleveland. One story is that Michigan cut taxes for filming. Detroit in 2009 looks more depressing, dingy, decrepit and derelict than Cleveland 1960-77. The first thing one notices is they did not film in Cleveland, other than a panorama shot in the beginning. They could have bought some old film besides the television news stories about Greene and the bombings. The first thing someone from Cleveland notices is that the film was not shot in Cleveland.
The film lingered on signs. The stupidest one came early — Islamic Slaughterhouse. The slaughterhouses were next to the train tracks on W. 65. I didn't come to watch for these details, and saw the film once. I don't remember trains in the film. ‘Islamic’ was not in the lexicon then, the word was ‘moslem’, and later ‘muslim’. People who became familiar with ‘muslim’, did not recognise, or remember, ‘moslem’. ‘Islamic’entered America through the Iranian revolution and the taking of hostages, after the time period of the film. Oh, and there was no such building in Cleveland.
The rest of the world has St. Malachy*, it is the actor's parish in Manhattan. Cleveland has St. Malachi (a parish history notes, but cannot explain the spelling). Lennon was just beginning his church closures in Cleveland. They could have photographed here. Malachy’s in Detroit is a modernistic edifice in Sterling Heights. I don't know the stand-in used.
The street signs in Cleveland are dark blue and white. The film had green and white, Danny did not have them changed. A fellow from work said disgruntledly, “It’s not Lakewood”. One sign was ‘Elizabeth W’. Where the hell is that? They could have gotten one to read, ‘Waterloo’ (which is ironic and accurate), ‘Lakeshore’ or ‘E.156’.
The film took along time in development. A cop author, Rich Porello was listed as executive director. His grandfather was once capo of the local mob during Prohibition. Could he not have suggested accuracies in filming (the dialogue was authentic)? The silliest error was about Collinwood. Collinwood is on the east side of Cleveland. Collinwood is where Greene lived. After the beginning of the movie, it became ‘Collingwood’. Did some typist obey a spell check programme? Of course, the local post office had a ball stamp with that spelling, they may still have it.
Greene is an interesting character. He was always nice to the Sisters, in Collinwood. The Ursulines taught at St. Jerome on E. 152, and St. Joseph at E. 144. He was devoted to at least SS. Jude, Patrick and Mary. He spent baby years at the catholic orphanage in Parma. He went to school at St. Jerome’s in Collinwood, and then for high school to the Jesuits at Ignatius, before going, and leaving, Collinwood High [(in the movie some fictitious Metro-East was mentioned, Cleveland has an East, and an East Tech) why a bio-pic creates such unnecessary, and peculiar inventions is beyond reason].
He cheated his brother longshoremen, this is not acceptable amongst union brothers, unfortunately it is too common. A friend remarked to me, that, he has a great problem in the glorification of a gangster†. Greene dealt death while being phlegmatic about his own. There is a call for a psychological and a dramatic study of such a scenario, it has come up short so far. Greene believed his Guardian Angel was successively vigilant; he believed in Christianity, an Irish Catholic one somehow intertwined with folklore and history. He was a Boy Scout and a Marine, a boxer and a marksman. He knew both Mars and Mammon. There is a conflict in that soul.
*there are prophecies about the end of the world attributed to Saint Malachy
†some mafiosi see themselves as businessmen, and they are; and it is not permitted in the US to criticise them
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The best window in the roman rite cathedral of Cleveland is seen by few people. The church has had major remodels. One has to believe, this window was meant to be seen. Now, one has to stand right in front of it to see it. That spot is on the choir stairs. The door to the stairs is usually locked. People using the stairs, besides the organist, are quite few; and they are in transit, looking at their feet. A special camera, indeed, would be needed to photograph it in one shot. The window is too long, and too wide for a normal camera less than three feet away to snap.
Unlike the windows of St. Casimir, and probably those of some others, being hawked by the diocese and its master, this one would be canonically permissible to be sold (at the current time). It is a marvelous triple window, Jesus among the fishermen. Some will be his apostles. He calls them, and us. Some new church in the affluent suburbs of the sunbelt could rescue this window from obscurity, and get a minor masterpiece that is not being created any longer at a fraction of a new commission price, and since there is a flood of close-out windows, the 'fair market price' would be a bargain for this Mayer window from Munich.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
The most picturesque views i see are in fleeting glimpses that expire in the atmosphere. The few moments before dawn, or after dusk in transpiring gloaming. The same as before a possible storm, or when the sun is breaking through clouds shedding corpuscular rays. Sometimes the palette is blues, greys and white, or during a blustery late fall day on the big lake when raised waves continually break against the rocks a symphony of greys. The sunsets can come in reds, pinks, purples and oranges. Of course further north, sometimes there's cascades of green from the auroras. The colors of the atmosphere are sheer brilliance and then they're gone. The clouds form and disappear. The more shades and contrasts, the greater beauty; in a solid uniformly bland hue there is no sparkle of magic, a lighting bolt (besides the intensity of voltage) branches and spikes fingers of adornment, that collapse to oblivion and visual boredom within a second.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Et coëgérunt illum, dicéntes : Mane nobíscum, quóniam advesperáscit, et inclináta est jam dies. Et intrávit cum illis. Et factum est, dum recúmberet cum eis, accépit panem, et benedíxit, ac fregit, et porrigébat illis. Et apérti sunt óculi eórum, et cognovérunt eum : et ipse evánuit ex óculis eórum.
But they constrained him; saying: Stay with us, because it is towards evening, and the day is now far spent. And he went in with them. And it came to pass, whilst he was at table with them, he took bread, and blessed, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him: and he vanished out of their sight. — Luke xxiv. 29-31.
To celebrate a Mass you need a table for an altar and two candles, the location is not of essence; one can be in the forest, or in an hidden room, or their parish church. Saint Lawrence held Mass for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, about 150 gathered in a room of the Slovenian National Home. The consecrated high altar that had been in the church of Saint Lawrence is now at (what had been) St. Hedwig's Lakewood as part of the museum now there.
A popular devotion of many people is a May Crowning. Marian hymns and prayers were sung in Slovene and in English. To-day was also secular Mothers Day, a happy co-incidence in celebrations. Some parishes crown Mary on the first Sunday of May, some on the second (Mother's Day), some on first Communion. The May Crowning is not liturgical, it is a sentimental, popular devotion that many fondly enjoy.
After Mass there was a brunch served. The confiscated parish grounds was having its side lawn mowed.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
*On April 25th of this year there appeared this story. The parish of St. Stephen in Valrico (an affluent suburb of Tampa), Florida is building a new church. They have 'discussed' to buy windows and bells of Saint Casimir's patrimony. [They do understand this is tentative.] The article has photos of two of St. Casimir's windows.
The pastor, William Swengros, is beaming in the article:
The building committee hopes to purchase used church bells and stained glass from St. Casimir Catholic Church in Cleveland, one of 28 churches in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese that was forced to close due to lack of parishioners. St. Casimir is one of the biggest and most ornate churches in the diocese. Its stained glass windows and statuary are being sold for pennies on the dollar, said Swengros. The stained glass will be used to adorn Our Lady's Chapel in the new church as well as reconfigured into round windows for the main church. "It will be just amazing," said Swengros, noting that the parish could never have afforded new stained glass for all 12 windows in the 250-seat chapel.
Of the other 14 or so parishes that currently have an open appeal, how many of those are having their property fenced? It looks like Lennon is a repeat and habitual offender. He continues to show complete disregard and contempt for anything and everybody other than his own will.
On the Floridian church's website there is a cropped photo of this window of Saint Casimir's church.
postscriptum: *Sometime after 9 May the story has been edited. Most of the quote, supra, has been removed. It has been adjusted with an asterisk, which is differently connotated than the original missing language. The two photographs of Casimir's windows have been pulled.
* It should be noted that the closure of St. Casimir Catholic Church in Cleveland by the Diocese of Cleveland is currently under appeal to the Vatican. Although St. Stephen has expressed an interest in purchasing stained-glass windows from the church, nothing can be sold pending a ruling on the appeal. According to Robert Tayek, director of media and public relations for the Diocese of Cleveland, if items are sold from the church, they will be sold for fair market value.
postscriptum 1 September 2011: I visited the website, and did not find St. Casimir's windows there at this time.
Friday, May 6, 2011
I have just read a recent essay on the attack on public libraries. The author traces this back to the privatisation endemic to reaganism. In 2008 Ft. Worth, Texas removed the word 'public' from Fort Worth Library. This was financed by the philanthropy of an oil drilling company. This 're-branding' was done to get rid of a word that has 'negative connotations', well in Republican, oil country anyway. I suppose, people are lucky if there are any public libraries at all in Texas.
Public libraries began in the mid-nineteenth century. Technology and industrialisation, and spreading democracy, allowed for a greater dissemination of knowledge. The public library was the institution to do so widely. Early on it was accepted as 'the people's university'.
Andrew Carnegie, the steel magnate who squeezed millions of dollars out of oppressed workers, had used his father' tradesman subscription library in Scotland. It was one of the few things he gave of his largesse years later. Eventually over two and an half thousand public and college libraries were partially built with some of his money. He produced a formula, "industrious and ambitious; not those who need everything done for them, but those who, being most anxious and able to help themselves, deserve and will be benefited by help from others", for his grants. The community would have to come up with the land, and most of the money. His money would trickle out along a schedule. He was a canny, wee lad.
Some extreme libertarians/capitalists object to libraries altogether. They detract from private sellers of books and other materials, when such are 'socialistically' or 'communistically' loaned. Of course there are others that object to the public's right to know. Librarians are (generally) champions of the First Amendment. In less affluent neighborhoods, take a look at the bumper stickers that arrive in the parking lot. They may hint why 'some' are against libraries.
Many people are disgusted with tax levies, but tax levies for libraries have a high rate of passage. People are willing to fund libraries with their increased property taxes. To end their existence will not be that easy.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Eric Bogle is a Scot whom emigrated to Australia. He wrote two well known sad songs of WWI. One was of Aussies and New Zealanders who fought at Gallipoli.
...And I watch the parade pass before meThat day has come.
And I watch my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving old dreams of past glory
And the old men march slowly, all bent, stiff and sore
The forgotten heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask, "What are they marching for?"
And I ask myself the same question
And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men answer to the call
But year after year their numbers get fewer
Some day no one will march there at all ...
Monday, May 2, 2011
23 April is Saint George's Day, but not this year. 23 April was Holy Saturday. Saint George was transferred to to-day. Paschal Sunday [Easter] is the great movable feast. Its tide pushed George onward. It is normal for feasts to move when they fall in Holy Week.
It is also a reminder that time is relative. What is regular and accepted can change in relation. Resurrection Sunday governs the christian calendar, and many days are determined by it; some away, and some intermittently.
Saint George was born in Lydda, Palestine. He usually is understood to have been a soldier. His execution was 23 April 303. The year before the emperor, Diocletian, issued an edict purging the army of christians. George was celebrated as a saint very early, and the stories grew to the point of great unreliability to historic accuracy. The byzantines re-named Lydda, Georgioupolis.
The dragon tale came centuries later. It is an allegory, but many people accepted as true beyond that. The dragon is a symbol of dangerous and conquerable evil. George is the true and brave christian, and all the rest is accoutrement to the story.
Lydda was also a town that suffered more recently. In the middle of July 1948, many thousands of residents and refugees were driven out and marched toward Ramallah. In the 100°F heat hundreds perished. The government leader who ordered the Death March was David Ben-Gurion.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
New signs and posters were placed on the fence outside the shuttered church. Amongst the several, there were ones celebrating the canonisation of Pope John Paul II, and a collage of images of the church closures in the diocese (and the country). On the lock of the chains the words, 'The church has the funding...Why is the bishop locking the doors to our home?', appear.
At the Polish Constitution Parade on Fleet, in Cleveland, there marched contingent units from St. Casimir, St. Wendelin, St. Barbara and St. Patrick (West Park).
The parade staged at Washington Park, Newburgh Heights, and crossed over the Fleet bridge above I-77. The parade then began in front of St. John Nepomucene and continued to St. Stanislaus.
Now the parade is not a religious affair. It is a celebration of the modern Constitution of Poland of 3 May 1791. The parade is a celebration of Polish culture and Polonia. It is impossible not to have an authentic parade without the recognition and participation of the national faith.
An actress portrayed Marie Skłodowska Curie, the first person to be awarded two Nobel prizes. First an one for Physics in 1903, and later for Chemistry in 1911.
The icon of St. Stanislaus of Krakow and John Paul II was on display before the altar. The icon had been recently updated. In the morning, John Paul was beatified in Rome. An halo was added to his image on the icon. St. Stanislaus is always grandly decorated for holidays. It is to be remembered, that, not only was to-day the Octave of Easter (which shares in Resurrection Sunday), it was also Divine Mercy Sunday (the eve of John Paul's death). The Divine Mercy of Jesus devotion is also the patronage of St. Casimir-in-Exile, and the Endangered Catholics group.