Saturday, March 30, 2013

preparation in Easter decoration

 holy water font with a textile of rain above
 fuel for the paschal fire
 a christian ikebana for Eastertide at St. Peter's Cleveland on Euclid

blessing the cheeses

paschal food baskets atop the communion rail
Father Eric Orzech of St. Casimir's reads the prayers and symbolism of the food blessing, and its meanings. The lenten fast will all end with an Paschal feast. Some foods had been 'given up' for a time, now they will be enjoyed. Several have allegorical, and didactic meanings: the egg tells of life emerging from a tomb, horseradish echoes the bitterness we eat of in life, and so on...the unintentionally funny line has to be "Blessing the cheeses, and the other dairy...".

Christianity, and people's understanding of it are appreciated through the senses, and smell, and taste are part of the senses. Food is communal. In Cleveland, parish communities were unjustly forbidden to meet for two, three years. These parishes had no Masses, no food to bless, until Rome listened to the pleas of the people. The community celebrates again.
 after the baskets were splashed with holy water, they are incensed
One can have what ever one wishes in the basket, and different national and religious preferences are welcomed, in addition to some items of religious allusions. Sometimes, an item is in the form of the paschal lamb (cake, bread, chocolate, butter), if lamb flesh itself is absent. Bread and wine were had at the Passover meal, and at the Divine Liturgies. We have pork, usually in ham and sausages. Pork was forbidden in the Old Dispensation it is permitted in the New, if they are links, they represent the chains of slavery and death, that have been broken.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday Procession visits St. Patrick's

The procession starts at La Sagrada Familia, and comes to St. Patrick's to read the Passion, and continues to St. Michael's, all on Cleveland's west side.

clearing the altar

On Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) there is only one Mass (the Mass of the Lord's Supper), and it does not end until the Easter Vigil Mass of the Resurrection. The Eucharist is taken to to a Tabernacle of Repose, and the other altars are stripped bare. First the candles are snuffed. There has been no dismissal. The priest does not say, "Ite, misse est." (Go, the Mass is ended.), or something similar. Liturgically, this Thursday, Friday, Saturday are one day-the Tridiuum.
 Saint Casimir Cleveland Ohio Holy Thursday 2013
see also by clicking: Triduum 2008Paschal Triduum observances 2009, St. Rocco processes 2010, Easter Vigil 2010, anticipation of the Resurrection, Easter in northeast Cleveland 2011, Resurrection Candle for Homecoming, Easter Sunday Cleveland Hostage Churches ...

2 more in Wendelin's series

 These two are proofs from the sign company.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


This wonderful thing is on the east side of Cleveland O., the suburb of Lyndhurst. The snow all melted on the west side by Tuesday. Easter is a movable holiday. This year it is on the last day of March. Cleveland has had a consistently cold March, with moderate bursts of snow, and rarely is there an even distribution.
A young married couple, Ron and Betty Manolio, began decorating their front yard for Easter in 1957 with painted eggshells. Every year since they have done so. Ron has died. This year's display would be a farewell.

For years, new television reporters on the local television stations have come, filmed, and sometimes interviewed for this story. People that have never gone to see the sight in person have enjoyed it on the television. Such a soft, and warm story stands in contrast to the grubby, dismal stories, and the ever growing weather extravaganza presentations. These reporters go elsewhere, and perhaps remember this simple but extraordinary sight of Christian* goodwill. Perhaps, for over forty years this has stayed as a lovely, local story. At one time such a story could have made CBS's On the Road with Charles Kuralt. In the last several years, some national shows did bring this yard national. It is a mystery which stories get promoted, and which do not. Ron Manolio had been a local television cameraman, and still this was only a Cleveland story for many years.

There have been grandparents that have taken their grandchildren (and before that, their sons and daughters) to see the colored eggs and snap fotos. There are in existence many such fotos.
*Yes, Easter is a Christian holiday, the chief holiday, Paschal Sunday, Resurrection Sunday.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

St. Wendelin wants parishioners

This is sort of like evangelisation by promotion, a large electronic postcard of invitation. On an electronic billboard, that cycles through several sponsors/advertisers every fifth picture (or so) is one for Saint Wendelin Cleveland. They are open and want to grow again.

Cleveland's bishop, Richard Lennon, was required by Rome to re-open eleven of the parishes he wrongly and unjustly closed. Between the Mass of Eviction and the Mass of Homecoming, parishioners were lost. Some people who had lived by the church moved because they did not have a church close by. Some became familiarised to new congregations, and the diocese did not encourage anyone to return, and that should be noted in comparison to how people were coaxed to accept the disappearance of their parish. Some people left the Catholic Church, and some left all churches.

Monday, March 25, 2013


There are no shortage of Martyrs, not even in little El Salvador. The most famous is Oscar Romero, he was not the first, and certainly not the last. There is no doubt that he is a saint. He has been proclaimed one, but not by the nomenclatura of his ecclesiastical apparatus. San Oscar was the chief churchman in his country, but politics is nasty. Fascist, and fascist enablers and supporters, are not comfortable with those whom object to the brutality of fascism. One does not have to be a member of an anti-fascist body to merit their hatred.

Over a quarter million people came to his funeral. Some were soldiers (in civilian dress) on buildings, who fired into the crowd. From the shots, and stampede, an estimated thirty to fifty people were killed. The architect of the government murders was Major Roberto D'Aubuisson, later founder of the conservative fascist political party ARENA.

In this wee lighted stained glass at Saint Luke's of Lakewood Ohio, there is an outline of the country of El Salvador, in the center is the archbishop. Also are portrayed the four American church women assassinated by United States supported, and trained government forces on the 2nd of December 1980. In the bottom left is the icon (winged ox) of St. Luke. The nearest visage to it is of a parishioner of St. Luke's, Jean Donovan.
Next to the glass, there is a plaque of two pages. There is a paragraph, and a quotation of each of the five portrayed. For San Oscar, the description reads:
On March 24 1980 in the chapel of the Divina Providencia Cancer Hospital, Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, the capital of the Central American nation El Salvador was killed during his homily by a gunman who fired one well-placed bullet through his heart. Archbishop Romero's martyrdom came in the midst of terrible civil strife that would become even worse during the 1980s until it was finally resolved by a 1992 peace accord. Archbishop Romero was martyred even though he had not taken sides in the political conflict, but had urged the warring parties to negotiate instead of using hate and violence to seek reconciliations and compromise in the spirit of Christ. Like Christ, he was put to death for his teaching.

The four women (Maryknoll Sisters Maura Clarke and Ita Ford, Jean Donovan and Ursuline Sister) were treated far more brutally before their murders. Later, their gruesome fate was brought to the attention of george h.w. bush, he laughed (or presented an awkwardly inappropriate smile) on camera. Al Haig (who spent two years at Notre Dame) said, "I heard there was some kind of a shoot-out. Maybe they were pistol packing nuns".
These Cleveland martyrs are remembered on the walls of Saint Vitus Cleveland too. Sr. Dorothy was remembered at Saint Robert's, until Lennon extinguished the parish. Both Jean and Dorothy, along with Ralph Delaney were remembered at Annunciation, until Lennon extinguished that parish. The memorial was moved to Ascension church, which survived that cluster.
But that glass at St. Luke's was created too soon, or a second companion window was not made. On November 19 1989 at Universidad Centroamericana, in San Salvador, the US trained Salvadoran army assassins came to kill Jesuits. They killed six:  Ignacio Ellacuría, Ignacio Martín-Baró, Segundo Montes, Juan Ramón Moreno, Joaquín López y López, Amando López . Their housekeeper, Elba Ramos, and her daughter, Celina Ramos had the same fortune. No, El Salvador had no shortage of martyrs.
pre postscriptum: it is not right that we cry for these individuals, that have standing in the professed religious life, and not the so many, many Christians, often campesinos, that are so anonymous and poor that we have not recorded their names. They too, were human, and Christian martyrs, but so poor that we have not taken notice of their names. Their souls may be far more golden than the illustrious martyrs, whose names we read in books, and holy cards. It is a great reproach to ourselves that we do not them.

We have a new pope, and he comes from Latin America. I am wont to believe, that he will proclaim San Óscar to the universal church. I understand that the Protestant church of England, and some Lutheran churches have. Why not Rome?  Are there people more Catholic than Rome.

for previous essays click here, 2009, 2007, 2010, 2011 Dec. 2.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013

yesterday in the garden

 crocii have been in bloom since 28 February
 female cardinal
sparrow with cracked corn

Friday, March 22, 2013

license to kill

I have seen yard signs, and billboards concerning Dan Ficker. Without knowing anything about him, i see he has family and friends whom care about him. If he had a song writing friend, perhaps a murder ballade would have been written and sung. Here is the important point: he was home, in his house in Parma, and two Cleveland policemen (one on duty) came, beat him, shocked him with an electric pistol, and then shot him dead. The police are free.
The '143' is  a code for the number of letters, in each word in the phrase 'i love you'.  Dan Ficker used to sign e-mails with that tag. I do not know whose this car is on. It is a public plea for justice. It is also an invite for police harassment. Police do not care for anything that challenges them.

There was a 1967 Dragnet episode, The Shooting Board, where Joe Friday was examined by a Board of Inquiry over a possible manslaughter accusation. Television as it was, and the programme as it was, was always go to be in favor of the Los Angeles Police Department and Sgt. Joe Friday. But in one scene, Friday's superior calls him in and asks to see his badge. The captain details the creation of the board, and how just the department is towards the public. He waxes poetic over the value of the metal. He says, "it is not a hunting license". Of course, Friday is cleared, but an assurance of proper cop behaviour would always be maintained. Well, that can always be done if it is scripted, and filmed so.

Now, Ficker was a white man. Since then, Cleveland has had a far more bold and public police killing, but of two black people after a spectacular automobile posse on 29 November 2012. The investigations are continuing, and it has taken some time for the 'feds' to become interested.

Click on these stories while they are available for the details:
deadly police shooting of Parma man
Cleveland police chase and shooting portrayed as chaotic scene
Police union chief defends officers
13 Cleveland police officers who fired 137 rounds
killing two people following a chase Thursday night
union president calls for Chief Michael McGrath's resignation
This is the oddest of the stories, Michael DeWine (R) Ohio Attorney General (the same Repuke who as Senator acted as a prosecutor of President Clinton) wants to clear the cops and blames 'the system', "The system itself failed these officers". He is handing it over to the new Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, whom as a judge prided himself on coming down hard, being tough. The game is simple: the cops, and the courts are tight. McGinty's grand jury will not be aggressive. But there may be a corrective.
Justice Department may review 2011 shooting
Cleveland police under investigation by U.S. Justice
Full Review of Cleveland Police

When this story broke, i was surprised it didn't go national immediately. Then again this is neither Los Angeles, nor New York, nor Chicago. The outline of facts are amazing. Pursuit policy was completely ignored. Several police agencies* were involved, only Cleveland cops fired. Thirteen cops fired 137 rounds. One cop emptied his gun three times, could he not see the corpses dancing from the concussions? He was an Iraqui veteran, who claims never to have fired in combat, but was scared to death while emptying his gun into the car repeatedly. Now, the cop on video is interviewed and tells how scared he is. Some fine acting is also done on camera by others. "Even through Iraq, I never fired my weapon. I never have been so afraid in my life." He shot forty-nine times.

What surprised me, is why did they not just plant a gun (it would have made everything more plausible)? The cops still speak of the incident with the dead firing a non existent weapon. How did this happen?  Two Negroes in an old car (1979 Chevy Malibu) downtown were driving, and the junker backfired. The cops JUMP to the conclusion that a shot was fired, and the cop cars emerge from everywhere to take down these two people.  Statement after statement cops made concerning the incident as it was happening, was incorrect.

When the news first hits the public, the police chief is actually dismayed. This does not go over well with the force. The police union calls for his resignation on camera. It is extremely rare, to the point of being an uniquity, for the local press to air such a statement by a union president (or union member) against his job superior, or for that matter any executive authority figure in town by anyone. But the police have their absolute defenders in exercising authority and force, even amongst those whom criticised cops and other public union workers protesting against anti-collective bargaining.

I have always been in awe of whoever is the union chief for the Cleveland cops. Jeff Follmer is in this audacious mold, the only statement he has not made (at least publicly) is for the families of the dead to pick up the cost that any cop had in the process of the killings (bullets, dry cleaning-- or perhaps the city covers that). They defend their members one hundred percent (some unions only explain management's position instead of defending the member). Every possible defense that someone uses to defend themselves against charges, no matter how ridiculous, the cops use on the behalf of their own. Defenses that would get no play in court, or towards a cop, are accepted when a cop uses them. Evidence, logic, law mean absolutely nothing. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Cop always right, non cop always wrong. Easy, no thought required. Or put this in cop talk, cops = good guys, anyone who gets in the way = bad guys. 
*"Surveillance videos obtained along the pursuit route depict that at one point, a minimum of 62 police vehicles were in pursuit or following along the pursuit route. These vehicles included marked and unmarked Cleveland Police Department vehicles, with Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers, Cuyahoga County Sheriff deputies, Bratenahl Police Department officers and officers of the RTA Police Department peripherally involved." pg. 53 of 65.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Catholicism amongst animals

Recently, Craig Ferguson spoke on Catholicism amongst animals, and mentioned an interesting (and i thought obscure) quote from St. Paul on oxen. I have written about Craig before (click once, twice). 

The day Francis was elected pope, Craig asked Secretariat (two interns in a horse suit) whether he is Catholic. The horse nods yes. Craig then doubts this, "I don't think you can be an animal and a Catholic...Well, didn't St. Paul say that God has no love for oxen?" The next scene, Craig is seated and reads a bad version, "God is not concerned about the oxen, is He?" 

Why did that thought/quote come out of his memory? First he had to have been exposed to it. I have read the Epistles of Paul, but have not memorised them. I am surprised, continuously, on how many people take one odd isolated sentence out of the Bible, and the manner they run with it. Here Ferguson, it appears, is making an honest theological speculation; but he does so in a Protestant manner, it is not done in context and used almost as a 'proof  text'.

an aside: Saturday, a 'Jehovah's Witness' and his son came to my door, very polite, but very hard to send away. They constantly use proof texts against you. They must be trained as are salesman. If you mention something of your background, they come up with a proof text to attack you (your faith tradition u.s.w.). They are very determined, and do not take "No" as an answer. This prepared ambush, i recognise in other evangelicals (now these 'Witnesses' are not doctrinally Christian, but just like Mormons they are still Protestants) too. Often, there is a feigned civility and concern. They are intruding, they have not respect for the person they accost, they do not accept that their object of conversion does not need to be converted; what is paramount is the sale must be made. It is no surprise that such religion is common in a society that so glorifies economic promotion (and acquisition). It is not Christian charity they are consumed with. They are insistent that only they are Christians, and no one else. I would like to know how they deal with non-Christians, since they have contempt for Christians. It has only been a few years that i have had respect for more than a very few Protestants, and a goodly portion of that distance is because of such subterfuge, and attack that sort of programmed fervency produces. Still such disdain for proselytism i retain. But what is often called mainstream Protestantism, largely does not act with such obnoxious aggressiveness, and is now conducive to ecumenical brotherhood. end of aside

That oxen passage bothers some animal ethicists, and animal rights activists. They misunderstand the use of biblical rhetoric, and the lesson comparisons and allusions make. It is not that animals do not matter, they do, and they have value, but the value of your fellow man is greater still. Now, my reading is that it is a question to compare the concern of the downtrodden, showing the depth and broadcast scope of the Mosaic legislation. Yes, mere oxen are noted, and a concern for their sustenance [they mere cattle] while laboring for men; but then more so the laborer, the widow, and the stranger are to be considered since they are mentioned in the surrounding passages from Deuteronomy.   
  • For it is written in the law of Moses: Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? — 1 Corinthians ix. 9.
  • Paul is quoting:  Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out thy corn on the floor. — Deuteronomy xxv. 4.
  • He presumes his audience is familiar with other lines: Thou shalt not refuse the hire of the needy, and the poor, whether he be thy brother, or a stranger that dwelleth with thee in the land, and is within thy gates: 15 But thou shalt pay him the price of his labour the same day, before the going down of the sun, because he is poor, and with it maintaineth his life: lest he cry against thee to the Lord, and it be reputed to thee for a sin. — Deuteronomy xxiv.14.
  • This fits well when one knows Paul also wrote: For the scripture saith: Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn: and, The labourer is worthy of his reward. —  I Timothy v. 18. 
So, i believe Paul is not dismissive of animal concern in presenting God's desires, but rather to show that if God demands care for animals [and means it], He must demand care for all the people in dire and lesser straits also. Does not Jesus show the same sentiment?
  • Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: better are you than many sparrows. — Matthew x. 29-31
  • Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they? — Matthew vi. 26.
  • Consider the ravens, for they sow not, neither do they reap, neither have they storehouse nor barn, and God feedeth them. How much are you more valuable than they? —  Luke xii. 24.  
Oxen were animals of agricultural wealth, sparrows were near nothing; yet oxen had rights, and God has his eye on the sparrow. And yes, Secretariat may be Catholic. In Steinbeck's, Tortilla Flat, the dogs certainly are. And the first Francis spoke to the birds.
Postscriptum 24 March 2013: i have mentioned Francis before, notice the illustrations:
Saint Francis and Sputnik (Спутник)
Blessing of the animals
Sadao Watanabe
Our Friend Francis  
Saint Francis of Assisi
 Otto Schubert. Francis & Wolf of Gubbio.
Dances with wolves?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

driving about the city

 Quincy near E. 71st. Cleveland

Cedar Road looking west

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ten years ago

began the Second American-Iraqui War. gwbjr following the plans of the satanic cheney so ordered. First the still unending lies, then all of their results. Responsibility? None. Accountability? None.  Shame? None. The malefactors are free and rich, and unknown thousands upon thousands of civilians and combatants are dead.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Republican Guide to Electioneering

Gary Trudeau is still sharp. The Republican primary for President 2016 has already begun. The miscreants are maneuvering. One crime family, believes it has dynastic rights. The revisions are still dropping into the memory hole.
Crazy Repuke, Scott Walker. click
 two continuous liars
 another idiot son
 Romney's runner up, perhaps you don't want to 'google' his name.

And then this guy who was not invited to the CPAC reindeer games, and is to the left of the President, this is unforgivable for Republicans, a RINO and ...