Sunday, July 29, 2012

notes on other parishes

parishioners begin to congregate
the prayer circle is complete, save for the cameraman who steps back to take a shot
It is a testament to resilience and faith that people come every week outside of their church and share their company with each other. This is a Christian community. It is important for people to recognise this witness, the constancy.

Cleveland had five parishes meeting regularly in their very near, but very real, exile. Now, only St. Emeric stands in exile. We know who put them there. Unfortunately, he has a special venom reserved for this people, and any ethnic suggestion. Lennon wants a cultural ethnic cleansing to be complete.

Someday, perhaps soon, they can freely meet inside. One day they will be having their last prayer circle. Never should anyone disregard, or disrespect this genuine Christian activity and constancy as a parish.


Defenders of lennonism, and naysayers to the parishioners immediately crack with a comment on the huge turnout, the standing room crowds of the Homecoming Masses, that next week there will be a tiny turnout. First, it is a mean spirited remark. Second, it has been proven false. To defend Lennon, one must sin against the truth. Casimir had significantly more than an thousand the first week. The second week they had a few hundred, the third week they improved on that number. James had 1500 Wednesday, and 800 Sunday. These are higher figures than that of St. John Cathedral.


St. James had their Homecoming mid-week on their patronal feast (25 July). St. James is the most monetary valuable building in the entire diocese of Cleveland. There has been persistent rumours, that it was on the market to be sold to Moslems. The Church of James the Moor Slayer, filled with painted murals would have retained its stone work, and geometry. The murals could have been destroyed or covered over. Lakewood would have its own Hagia Sofia, or perhaps not, Lakewood passed an architectural landmark ordinance.

Their new priest was applauded as he climbed a held ladder and lit the tabernacle's lamp. People noticed that the vigilers were not a part of his circle, nor was much or any input from the Jacobites (St. James' parishioners) asked for, or accepted. Fr. Workman made sure to praise Richard Lennon in his remarks during Mass. A parish is the community of believers in it, it is not a priest and his bishop (or vice versa). The
Jacobites are in for a bumpy ride.


Some of the open churches have noticed their more portable items are missing. Lennon's business partner and sales agent, Henninger's, supposedly, extensively catalogued items. Vestments, altar linens, Eucharistic vessels, candlesticks are missing. Some people, and pastors are very timid, reluctant, or disinterested in following through for information, and property. In some cases inferior items were substituted. How much time was there from removal from the premises until the open, return, restore order by Rome?


Well, there have been other services conducted outside the spotlight, in almost sub rosa atmosphere. Some people are akin to fearful mice. Lennon would not like it, but the Church allows popular, spontaneous worship and activity.


A parishioner of Holy Trinity Lorain finally received notice from the Congregation for the Clergy, that the parish's appeal did not come in time. They suffered a purposeful delay in gathering information thought to have been necessary to submit.
revised: noon 31 July

Rejoice with St. Wendelin

Sunday in Cleveland, and another Parish church has an Homecoming Mass with a full house, in this case 600+. Along the utility poles on Columbus Avenue banners were festooned, a Slovak flag with text.
An half hour before scheduled Mass and people are entering. The church is finally opened.
The holy water fount was filled to-day with freshly blessed water. The old church bell cast in 1903 sits with a long handled mallet. A Mass begins with a call from a bell. For years, a parishioner had swung the mallet. He died since it was last formally used, his son rang it to-day. The bell was applauded by the congregation. Bells, candles, holy water, altar lamps are sacramentals (blessed objects and such that increase religious devotion, and have a sense of holiness).
a rood group, rood means cross
St. Wendelin is not a cathedral, but a very brick solid parish church. A parish is a community, and one mark is people enjoy each other's company and linger on. St. Wendelin is such an one.
After the Hosanna, people kneel. This particular Divine Mercy gonfalone has been a part of three church Homecomings, and before that many street prayer vigils (primarily at St. Casimir) and other demonstrations.
The preferable term is 'altar lamp', some say 'tabernacle light'. The new pastor, Fr. Robert Kropac does the lighting after Communion. Jesus' presence is again in the tabernacle. The lighting was also applauded.

Fr. Kropac spoke friendly and comfortably to his new parish. A couple of his former parishioners from St. Henry were in the first row to greet him before Mass. To-morrow, he begins his assignment with St. Peter's, but most of the congregation has left the building. Wendelin's parishioners are wondering how will this balance out? especially for the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Paschal Vigil).
Command the children of Israel that they bring thee the purest oil of the olives, and beaten with a pestle: that a lamp may burn always, In the tabernacle of the testimony, without the veil that hangs before the testimony. And Aaron and his sons shall order it, that it may give light before the Lord until the morning. It shall be a perpetual observance throughout their successions among the children of Israel. — Exodus xxvii. 20-1. DRC
The Mass ends with a procession, as it began.
After Mass the new bells pealed for a long and happy duration.

It has been a hot July in Cleveland. People at St. Casimir, two weeks ago, were in high heat and humidity, and people were fanning themselves constantly. Here, at Wendelin, the air was far less close, but at one moment it got warm and the simultaneous fanning began, but soon subsided. The fan is a souvenir of the day, and reminder for next week. I have only seen such fans in African-American congregations (often advertising funeral homes) before. No, fans are not sacramentals.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Brittania, “Mitt is a twit”

a page in Rupert Murdoch's London Sun

“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special.” — Romney campaign tells London's Telegraph newspaper

Barack Obama is not considered a 'white man'. The Republicans are always hinting at this, without using those words. They openly say he is 'un-American'. Now, the statement is that he does not share our shared 'Anglo-Saxon heritage' and culture. Romney's campaign pumped this out as their man is in London for the Olympics. Perhaps, Romney is more Anglo-Saxon than Obama is; but Obama is far more Anglo-Saxon than i am, and many other Americans, and Britishers.

Romney was running for President when he was in charge of the Salt Lake Olympics 2002. He received great free press propaganda. I knew then he wanted the presidency. Well, Mittens shows up for the London games, and says one stupid thing after another; some irritatingly insulting to the country he is visiting. Willard is just another ugly American tourist.
England is just a small island. Its roads and houses are small. With few exceptions, it doesn't make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy. And if it hadn't been separated from the continent by water, it almost certainly would have been lost to Hitler's ambitions.— Romney, book, No Apology.

It's hard to know just how well [the 2012 London Olympics] will turn out. There are a few things that were disconcerting. The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging.— Willard Romney, wannabe President

We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.— David Cameron, Prime Minister of Great Britain
Romney went abroad to show his foreign policy gravitas. The English papers are comparing him negatively to Sarah Palin, and gwbjr. Perhaps, it would have been better if he just visited his wife's dancing horse. The horse is an Olympian. Well, let us see how many Polish jokes he will tell as his grand tour continues.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Guest Submission VI: Homecoming at St. Barbara's

the doors are opened
On Sunday, July 22nd, three more Catholic churches in the Cleveland Diocese re-opened. The three churches were St. Barbara (Denison Ave.), St. Mary (Bedford), and St. Patrick (West Park). All three re-opened simultaneously with 11:00 am Masses on this bright sunny day as their parishioners and supporters returned to see the churches' doors unlocked and open once again.

These three churches were part of the eleven decreed to be restored in the historic March 1, 2012 decision by the Vatican's Congregation of the Clergy. Last week St. John the Baptist (Akron), and St. Casimir (Cleveland) were re-opened.

This past Sunday, media coverage was intensive at St. Barbara, a Polish founded parish. The scene was overwhelming and joyous as they celebrated in the typical Polish way with a large procession into the church that marked the occasion and showed their intense love and respect for their Catholic faith.

Several hundred people gathered outside the church from the front steps, and the sidewalks along Denison Avenue stretching for a city block. At the head of this procession was the newly appointed pastor, Rev. Father Joseph Hilinski, who started the ceremony by knocking a series of three knocks, three times on the closed doors and proclaimed these words, "Open the doors so that the people of God may worship the God of heaven and earth". He then repeated the invocation in Polish with the doors slowly opening, and then the bells began ringing. This was the first time the bells were rung in more than two years. Many of the people in the procession became emotional as tears of joy became visible. The pealing of the bells was the welcome home, and the signal token, that they could now return to their sacred place of worship.

The procession slowly ascended the steps into the church and completely filled the pews, the aisles and the choir loft. In the procession were St. Barbara's Veterans Group, the VFW, the American Legion, and two Polish Army Posts all carrying their colors, next were fraternals and members of the parish in native Polish Highlander dress. They were followed by bearers of gonfalones (religious banners) who held high the images of St. Barbara, Our Lady of Częstochowa, Divine Mercy of Jesus, John Paul II, and others.

On this day the first reading was from the Prophet Jeremiah where God rebukes bad shepherds who scattered the flocks, and God appoints new shepherds to gather and return the flocks to their homes. The Scripture reading for this Homecoming Mass could not have been more appropriate for those in the pews.

In his homily, Father Hilinski introduced himself as a Catholic, a Pole and a Christian neighbor who was baptised at St. Barbara. He gave a short history of the parish and then praised the parishioners and supporters that worked to have the parish re-opened. He said that they (parishioners) acted as shepherds.

Father Hilinski announced that Barbara's will have a Saturday evening Mass and two Sunday Masses, one being in Polish. He was warmly received as those in the pews twice broke out in applause. In attendance were reps from SS. Casimir, Emeric, Peter, and Wendelin for they too wanted to share in this Homecoming. Afterwards, a reception was held in the church hall, topped off with a very long Polish pastry table. It was a real Homecoming for the parishioners of St. Barbara. Donna Cuevas said, "It is a miracle and the inside looks the same as it was before".
Next week and thereafter those bells will ring again with a call for the flock to come home. They now have a shepherd.

--by Joseph Feckanin

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Open the doors

queuing for entry
another view of the queue
knock, knock, knocking
Open the doors so that the people of God may worship the God of heaven and earth!
Otworzcie sie bramy aby wsedł Król chwaly!
(Open the doors of the gate to the King of glory!)

Before the Homecoming Mass began, a part of the congregation gathered for a procession with gonfalones and flags. Mass was last said in St. Barbara's on Mother's Day 2009. That was also the last day for Fr. Joseph Hilinski's former parish, Our Lady of Mercy. That May morning, Richard Lennon evicted both parishes; but Barbara's petitioned the Holy See.

Saint Barbara has been not available to the faithful since. So, as the formal reuse begins, it begins with the new pastor knocking in a series of three, three times for entry to the church; so much a beautiful, yet simple and earnest a ceremony; far unlike the Lennonist Evictions.

To-day, three parishes are having Homecoming Masses. The other two are: St. Mary in Bedford, and St. Patrick in West Park.

Folding chairs were added in the center aisle, as people stood about the perimeters and in the choir loft. Last week 12-13 hundred came to Casimir, here at Barbara's about half that tally, a good six hundred.
The First Scripture Reading 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Woe to the pastors, that destroy and tear the sheep of my pasture, saith the Lord. Therefore thus saith the Lord the God of Israel to the pastors that feed my people: You have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold I will visit upon you for the evil of your doings, saith the Lord. And I will gather together the remnant of my flock, out of all the lands into which I have cast them out: and I will make them return to their own fields, and they shall increase and be multiplied. And I will set up pastors over them, and they shall feed them: they shall fear no more, and they shall not be dismayed: and none shall be wanting of their number, saith the Lord.
Behold the days come, saith the Lord, and I will raise up to David a just branch: and a king shall reign, and shall be wise, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In those days shall Juda be saved, and Israel shall dwell confidently: and this is the name that they shall call him: the Lord our just one.

— Jeremias xxiii. 1-6. DRC

Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture, says the LORD. Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, against the shepherds who shepherd my people: You have scattered my sheep and driven them away. You have not cared for them, but I will take care to punish your evil deeds. I myself will gather the remnant of my flock from all the lands to which I have driven them and bring them back to their meadow; there they shall increase and multiply. I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear and tremble; and none shall be missing, says the LORD.
Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David; as king he shall reign and govern wisely, he shall do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah shall be saved, Israel shall dwell in security. This is the name they give him: "The LORD our justice."
— Jeremiah 23. 1-6. NAB
Father Joseph Hilinski did not comment on the apt, timely, and descriptive reading from the Prophet. The Bishop is out of town. Hilinski spoke of being a Catholic, a Pole, a Christian neighbor. He recounted a short history of the parish, which he was baptised in, and then spoke of his boyhood St. Patrick West Park (which was having the same Mass there). He spoke positively of the Barbara parishioners, and supporters that sought to have their parish and acting as shepherds by default. He gave the good news that a Polish language Liturgy would be said by Fr. Andrzej Knapik, from Immaculate Heart of Mary, Sundays at 11.30 a.m.. Twice rounds of applause broke out during Hilinski's maiden homily at Barbara's, again this is not common at a Mass.
one small lively family during Mass
the Knights of Columbus enjoy processions, they gather in the narthex during Communion

Saturday, July 21, 2012

more on St. Casimir's

Well, others are chronicling the Casimiri too. This is the work of Daniel Hanson.

the last vigil 8 July 2012:

the Homecoming Mass 15 July 2012:
This is the class picture, from the last Casimiri street exile vigil from the 8th of July. The photographer, Gus Chan, is the prize winning photojournalist from Cleveland's daily paper.
postscriptum:7 August 2012: additional photograph by Gary Kotlarsic

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

They will be opening

Updated Homecoming Masses Akron and Cleveland:

Mass St. John the Baptist 15 July 10 am

Mass St. Casimir 15 July 11.30 am
...[last street vigil for St. Casimir-in-exile was 8 July]
...[last street vigil for St. Wendelin 15 July 12.30 pm]

Mass St. Barbara 22 July 11 am
Mass St. Mary, Bedford 22 July 11 am
Mass St. Patrick (West Park) 22 July 11 am

Mass St. James 25 July 7 pm
Mass St. Wendelin 29 July 11 am
Mass St. Adalbert 12 August 11 am
Mass St. Mary, Akron 15 August 7 pm
Mass St. Peter 9 September 11.30 am [this added 15 August]
To Be Announced:

St. Emeric 4 November noon
Postscriptum 8 September: expect a November date; Emeric's feast day is 5 November, that is not a Sunday this year. Some date may be confirmed in a week.

Postscriptum: On 16 October, it became public that St. Emeric's Homecoming Mass will be 4 November noon.  Unlike all the other resuscitated parishes, their new pastor will be their old pastor. This was ordered by the Vatican on 21 August. Bishop Richard Lennon had to be further reminded by Cardinal George of Chicago on 11 October to make the public announcement.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Casimiri Homecoming Mass

"Welcome to your church," John said to parishioner, after parishioner, whilst handling bulletins and printed programmes.
early arrivals
More than a thousand were forecast to show by the new pastor, Father Eric Orzech. And more than a thousand did come before the start. Father Eric is young and busy. He has two Polish cathedrals to pastor. The official co-cathedral of Cleveland, Saint Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr, and Saint Casimir.
empty font
If nothing else, he has a sense of humour and an easy manner of speaking. It is unusual for Catholics to interrupt homilies and priestly orations with applause, they did several times to-day. He noticed, or knew a forehand that hand, after hand, after hand would dip into empty bowls, which touched by reflex in order to gather drops of holy water to sign the cross. In the programme it was mentioned that an Asperges (sprinkling rite) would follow the blessing of the new holy water. He, behind the altar table, mimed the empty pounding of hands in dry immersion. He said, that after two and a half years the water had evaporated. He did not say the fonts were portable, and had been in a warehouse. He is politic savvy.
blessing water with a Resurrection candle
He welcomed the multitude 'to a usual Casimir Sunday'. Again, and again he used the local pronunciation of the oldest parishioners 'Kazmer'. Many people were there for the first time. Many had been several times, or more, a few feet away outside on the other side of the fence.

The Mass was tri-lingual, at least in song. Asperges Me, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei were in Gregorian mode. The rest bounced from English to Polsku. Before Mass, it was acknowledged that the street vigil tradition of bi-lingual Lord's Prayer, and a decade of Aves were, indeed, recited in the two languages again. Television cameras, still photographers, and a couple of documentarians were busy recording.

His humour continued, as to speculate as some called this a miracle. That is to be left to the theologians, but you have never seen such an event yet, have you?
Father Jan Wachala
The reception of the Sacrament took quite some time. Two other priests were on hand, the retired Fr. Keller of Adalbert in Berea, and the former Casimiri associate, Fr. Jan Wachala from Chicago exile. After Mass, he gave a reflection in Polish, that was very well received by those fluent.

Afterwards, a pastry and pop reception took place in the gym. The world should know, that the Poles are very competent bakers.

The only bitter point was a clique of parishioners, and mainly their 'queen bee' who usurped as much of the spotlight as possible. The parish to have peace and success, will need the pastor to very quickly and tightly rein in that problem.


25 March 2012

1 July 2012
main entrance to-day
Anthony 2009
Anthony 2012
water damage

For symmetric balance, the parish had two plaster Franciscans. Francis lost some paint in the interval.
Left 2009
Right 2012

Catholic pneuma and psyche

For many people, once formed Catholic, always Catholic. Someone may not have been in church for twenty years, someone may have argument after argument with the Church, and never-the-less Catholic they remain; and people can tell. There are contemporary song lyrics that are Catholic. And no they are not up for Dove awards. Here, right me if i am wrong in the judgments.

Bruce Springsteen has catholicity in his writing. He knows community, he knows struggle. Not only is he a Catholic, he is a public D/democrat.
Darkness at the Edge of Town, and Nebraska are two albums that cry of broken communities. Capitalism and the rise of Reagan's use of it did no good for the poor, and the working classes.  Later, Bruce begins a song:

Jesus was an only son
As he walked up Calvary Hill
His Mother Mary walking beside Him
Implicit, and explicit imagery read Catholic. I do not know how often he formally partakes the Sacrament. I read his Catholic grade school experiences were not good. Bruce has been quoted, I've inherited this particular landscape”, and Once a Catholic, always a Catholic..

He is not the only example. Patty Griffin in a song, i have only very recently encountered, sings:

...And I'm getting older and odd
I get up every morning with a black cup of coffee
And I talk to the Mother of God...
There are other melancholic lyrics in the song. Altogether, it thoroughly engaged me emotionally (i can only remember the Kilkelly Ireland song being more poignant). I cannot believe it is a case of someone borrowing, or discovering Catholic imagery. It sounds just too legitimately, and deeply Catholic. Griffin's song is not necessarily linear, but it touches deep. For a recent gospel album, she is quoted, “Both of my parents were very religious. My father spent time living as a Trappist monk. It was a very Catholic life that I lived as a child. Spiritually I’m a mutt, at this point. All the imagery of those teaching is in me, it’s in my blood, and it continues to show up and inspire different things. A lot of people think this is too basic to think, too bleeding heart liberal to think, but we’re all looking for the same stuff.”
 Robert Earl Keen sings in Corpus Christi Bay:

We threw her clothes into the car trunk
Her photographs, her rosary
This is not a throw away line. The phrasing is tuneful. Keen might just be acquainted with the object, but people who are only just so, still often do not understand (really—feel).

In bluegrass there is Peter Rowan. Bluegrass is not a Catholic genre. He wrote, Midnight Moonlight.

I'll meet you at Alamo mission, and we can say our prayers,
The Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mother will heal us as we kneel there.
There are not many more lines in the song. It can be nothing other than Catholic.
These songs and their creators are not considered 'Catholic' by the public, and the industry [by and large]. I do not expect them on the playlists of 'Christian' and 'religious' stations. Such songs are deeply, and artistically religious. One can argue they are from 'lapsed Catholics', but i see a lot of pharisee policing in that phrase.

Being Catholic is not synonymous with being a dutifully, observant Catholic; and devout Catholic is not the opposite of lapsed Catholic. And once, people knew that. There is an old joke (told in an Irish brogue) about an atheist speaker, who after his talk entertained questions.
“Is it a Catholic God, or a Protestant God you don't believe in?, was the question he was asked. No, Catholicism remains until one formally joins something else, or renounces; and maybe even not then. Do the church police forget (or ignore) that baptism leaves a mark on the soul?

Saturday night, i attended a concert of a fine guitarist. He was a 'Christian' artist. The crowd was full of long time fans. He was sincere, but confessional theology rarely makes for good songs. People 'enjoy' the musical form, and agree with the message.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

inside Saint Casimir's to-day

Battery on camera dead, no photos. I was inside Saint Casimir's to-day. The people who were at the vigils were the people cleaning the church to-day, and getting the social hall/gym aired out. Everyone was excited about to-morrow. The "professionals" hired by the bishop did not do a thorough job. Krystyna, and Julia Moreno were waxing the dry floors. They had been dry for three years and sucked in the wax, and were still dry.

A cameraman came from WKYC-3. Later the new pastor, Eric Orzech, and an organist, David Krakowski, came. The organ was played well. There are new hymnals in the pews. John Niedzialek brought potted geraniums for the front steps. The church's doors were open, he promised himself to not enter the church proper until the Homecoming Mass.

The parish's statue of St. Anthony of Padua and Lisbon was substituted by a new and cheaper version. The Black Madonna of Częstochowa was missing. Water damaged a mural of Jesus with children and others, and around the Ascension window. The diocese knew for months the church was to be open, and several items are apparently lost to 'shrinkage'. Of course, we knew things were on the market.

It was great to see the stained glass windows. There have been many photos in this journal of the
main portico, the main doors of the church. The three light fixtures (with glass globes) and two gargoyles were unscathed by the weather, and from vandalism. During the unboarding, really just a few hours ago, the middlemost globe was broken. A parishioner was witness (she was cleaning to-day too), she scolded the worker; and a diocesan official snottily promised a new globe, and two hours later a non-matching one was in its place.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Last Casimiri Vigil

festooning balloons of Polish national colors, stained glass and doors still boarded, and ivy growing
To-day was the 139th Sunday meeting of St. Casimir's parish in exile. Cleveland's Bishop, Richard Lennon, conducted a Mass of Eviction on 8 November 2009. On 15 November 2009, the first gathering of the parish took place outside, on the street and sidewalk, before the fence that surrounds the church. There has been a continuous Sunday meeting of the parish ever since. One additional service occurred the evening the good news came, from Rome (Wednesday, 7 March 2012).

Casimir was alone in the streets from November 2009, until the following summer, when additional parishes also began meeting in the streets. Next Sunday, Casimir will make the long trek from the street to the inside of the building. The four other parishes (SS. Emeric, Patrick, Wendelin, James) will be in the street for a time yet. In that span, American religious history was made. A tyrannical bishop attempted to extinguish a parish that would not surrender, would not perish; to borrow from the Polish anthem, 'Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła (Poland has not yet perished)'. Tenacity, constancy, perseverance, determination, heart, and stubbornness prevailed; but not of the bishop, but of the people.

Saint Casimir is a Polish nationality parish. Now, the Poles have a long history of standing up against tyranny. Often, they are not afraid to contest and to fight. Sometimes, they fight for themselves, and sometimes for others. In this instance, they did both. No bishop will ever attempt such an evisceration of a diocese again. For, Saint Casimir was not the only parish closed in the Roman-rite diocese of Cleveland; Bishop Lennon closed 58 parishes. Casimir and several other parishes successfully appealed to Rome for the reversal of the extinction orders. Rome corrected the bishop. This is a message to the local episcopacy. Yet untold, and unknown parishes have been saved from future destruction, many will not realise. The battle was fought in Cleveland.

pre-service chatting amongst parishioners; the final meeting was delayed. One of the two prayer leaders, Wojciech Fleszar was late arriving from Mass at St. John Kanty. The final phone call came in from St. Patrick West Park to St. Casimir. Sally Prohaska calls Joseph Feckanin to start the vigils together. It will be over for the Casimiri, the Patricios will be outside next week again.
mid service of St. Casimir-in-exile: For those familiar with the Old Testament, it is a parallel to the ending of the Babylonian exile, when Israel returned to Jerusalem
at one point, people were asked to reflect on the exile odyssey and the vigil community
some Casimiri with Solidarity flag near statue of St. Michael the Archangel
Maureen likes the good humour and buzzing sound of the South African plastic horn (vuvuzela). She toots a farewell.
Polish flag and balloons before the Guardian Angel and Child statue

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Homecoming Mass Schedule, Akron and Cleveland

Mass St. John the Baptist 15 July 10 am
Mass St. Casimir 15 July 11.30 am
...[this means the last street vigil for St. Casimir-in-exile is 8 July]
Mass St. Mary, Bedford 22 July 11 am
Mass St. Barbara 22 July 11 am
Mass St. James 25 July 7 pm
Mass St. Adalbert 12 August 11 am

To Be Announced:
St. Emeric
St. Mary, Akron
St. Patrick (West Park)
St. Peter
St. Wendelin
Postscriptum 12 September 2012: for update click here.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Editorial on parish re-openings

Some parishes will be available again for universal worship about Akron, and Cleveland. Bishop Richard Lennon authored for all of those parishes to be extinguished. One should never forget that. Many petitioned Rome, again, and again, and once more. Rome took time. Rome finally acted on the behalf of the People of God. Rome said, Richard was wrong from beginning to end. Rome said, "Full restoration". Rome, privately, asked him to leave.

Remember how punctual he was in following his closing schedule. Once set, it was never slackened, he pushed it forward. St. Vitus Lorain, and SS. Cyril & Methodius Lorain were expedited before their due date.

Now, Richard Lennon publicly announced a list of closures 14 March 2009. Those set of closures began 26 April 2009 (43 days). This opening process is very slow. The public knew of the reversal of closures on 7 March 2012. Richard Lennon acknowledged receipt of the decrees 14 March 2012. The first two churches will be open 15 July (123 days after acknowledgment). Why does Lennon have two different speeds? People want their churches opened; Rome wants the churches opened; Richard Lennon, not so much. He has dictated the terms. Richard decides on whom he will speak to. Richard chooses to recognise only particular members of a parish. He silences those whom point out discrepancies, and say what he does not wish to hear. He is not fulfilling the mandates.

He is co-ordinating a propaganda campaign. 'Good news' is released in driblets. He had his official liar, Tayek, on television, performing in slimy salesman smile mode, at Saint Barbara's trying to convince the public how gracious and thoughtful the diocese was in protecting every article of the church. That was the first allowable glimpse of a shuttered church. The television showed a few laborers cleaning, dusting, and mopping. Was this not done every week when the church was open to its people, by its people?

Lennon continues to employ intimidation. His, otherwise invisible, chancellor Sullivan passed an unveiled threat to, at least, the parish of Saint Patrick West Park, that, any bad publicity they generated to the press 'would hurt their cause'. This is not an iron fist in a velvet glove, this is using a catspaw to slap hot coals.

No one needs to be scared of Richard. Rome knows him now, and he is not a favorite. Lennon will bluff, do not fear him. Richard threatened Fr. Marrone of St. Peter's. Marrone spoke to the press, and Lennon backed down from the threat he issued him.

All the parishes have the right to have the canonical decision fulfilled. A request, can be made to Rome, for someone else to mediate, or guarantee the arrangements for the homecomings and restorations, if Richard does not come through. Rome did NOT say, "Ehi, Riccardo fare quello che vuoi (Hey, Richard do what you wish)". Rome wrote with the strongest politic language available.

America sang, "But Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn't, didn't already have". Remember, Richard Lennon similarly gives nothing. He has taken much away. The 'Peace and Unity' he speaks of will only come with the end of lennonism.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Penultimate gathering of St. Casimir-in-exile

a videographer from WJW-8 came to record historyfastening a supporting banner
a Catholic parish in communal worship

In a few days, the new pastor of St. Stanislaus Cleveland, Fr. Eric Orzech, will become the new pastor of St. Casimir. Cleveland will have two parishes named 'St. Casimir' open: this old, constant, tenacious parish of a Polish heritage, and the renamed parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help of a Lithuanian heritage. So far, most of the 'new' pastors of the homecoming parishes are also pastors of a never closed parish in the same 'cluster' group as the dormant, re-opening parish [Stanislaus & Casimir, Bernard & Mary, Annunciation & John the Baptist, Clement & James]. That staffing decision took more than four months. Exiled non-diocesan priests [some who would come back] were not candidates.

Saint Casimir will have its Homecoming Mass at 11.30 a.m., Sunday, 15 July 2012. That means the last street gathering of Saint Casimir-in-exile will be this upcoming Sunday at 11.30 a.m.. The Mass of Eviction was 8 November 2009. From 15 November 2009, there has been a continuous Sunday meeting of the parish. There was an additional service the day the good news arrived from Rome. Each gathering was held on the street and sidewalk before the fence that surrounds the church. Next week will be the last, #140. In that span, religious history was made. A tyrannical bishop attempted to extinguish a parish that would not surrender, would not perish; to borrow from the Polish anthem, 'Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła (Poland has not yet perished)'. Of course, filing the proper papers of protest in the prescribed protocol helped.

After the autumn closing of Casimir, the parish was alone in the streets. The following summer, four additional parishes were meeting in the streets. Now, Casimir will make the long trek from the street to the inside of the building. The four other parishes will be in the street for a time yet.

The local press, and the Los Angeles Times, had reported the story. And with that, and the other parishioners from several other diocesan parishes, no bishop will ever try such an evisceration of a diocese again. Untold parishes have been saved from future destruction. The battle was fought in Cleveland.