Sunday, November 4, 2012

Parish Saved from Oblivion

 incoming procession to a congregation overflowing with anticipation
Father Sandor Siklodi, past and present pastor of St. Emeric Cleveland read the Gospel, and gave an history of the last twenty-eight months. At times it was a bad dream. He, as all people present, were publicly grateful to Fr. Begin and Saint Colman's for saying so many Hungarian language Masses in the interim. All realised how much this helped the community to survive and thrive. Siklodi said words too kind concerning Bishop Lennon.
 a view at the Ave Maria window, and the press in the balcony
Of the eleven churches restored to public worship of God, in the Cleveland Catholic diocese, this church, Saint Emeric has physically the smallest nave, and sanctuary. Still they held six hundred people. Folding chairs were placed, everywhere they could fit, and some people stood.
 After the distribution of Communion, Jesus finally re-entered the tabernacle after a long absence. The tallest member of the congregation pulled down the tabernacle lamp, and lit it. The lamp was out for twenty-eight months. 
Before the Mass dismissal, the parish's procurator/organist presented an historical reflection on what has happened in the history, of the parish, the Hungarian nation, and the Catholic Church. To get to this Mass, in this church to-day, took the near moving of heaven and earth.

The time, noon 4 November echoed history. In 1456 a Christian force, led by Hungarians defeated the Turks at Nándorfehérvár (Beograd/Belgrade). Three years before, Constantinople (the Second Rome) fell. János Hunyadi is considered the top general of his generation, he had fought the Turks for more than a decade. This was his last battle. He soon died of contagious disease. His fame was so grand, that several nations claimed him. The next year, his son was elected king. The Hungarians believed the bells rang at noon by papal order after the victory.More recently, the short lived Hungarian independence revolt of 1956 was crushed on Sunday, 4 November.

But locally, this little parish became a cause célèbre for the world's Hungarians. The Hungarian government inveighed and cajoled diplomacy to the Vatican on the parish's behalf. The parish was opposed by a beyond remarkably recalcitrant bishop. They would not accept compromise, neither would he; but Rome did not relent. This the Mother of God, the parishioners, in various groupings (Templom Örzö, the street prayer vigils, the scouts), judicial and diplomatic actions, and justice all were on the same side. They found friends in Saint Colman's and other Catholics in town. The parish was "saved from oblivion". This was an historical moment in the church universal, and a great victory. It was the proper solution, to a falsely created problem.

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