Wednesday, May 29, 2013

another Catholic war memorial

In to-day's Cleveland Plain Dealer appeared the following letter to the editor:

This past Memorial Day weekend was a testimony to the great lengths that American citizens will go to in order to recover and honor their fallen.

There is another story that requires attention and action: After World War II, a "Sacred Heart of Jesus War Memorial" was dedicated to honor the fallen veterans from Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Cleveland. That monument stood at the church for more than 65 years until the church was closed in 2010. Today, we have a desecrated memorial. The caretaker of the Sacred Heart of Jesus monument sold the statue portion and is presenting the base section as the monument. Both the seller and buyer were aware that the monument included a statue and base.

Please, Catholic pastors, original Corpus Christi Church members and their beloved, the Rev. Anthony B. Orlemanski, our founding pastor, would have required the base and statue to be united as intended and as they endured for 65-plus years.

It is the duty and obligation of every American citizen to honor and respect war memorials as they were intended.

Eleanore Slys North Olmsted

To illustrate her letter:

the entire monument at Corpus Christi Cleveland 4/19/2010, two days after the Mass of Eviction
Figure of Jesus and his Sacred Heart in front of the parish school of St. Gregory South Euclid.
Lennon renamed the parish, Sacred Heart. Foto 1/1/2012.
Very recently (fotos May 4 2013), Our Lady of Good Counsel installed the dedicatory plinth. Lennon 'merged' Corpus Christi into OLGC as Mary Queen of Peace. Both parishes were on Pearl Road Cleveland. One must remember there is now a history of how Lennon has dealt with parish monuments, and mementos mori.

Monday, May 27, 2013

In Memoriam Cleveland Peacemakers

Memorial Day began as Decoration Day for the Confederate and Union dead. For the United States, this was the country's demarcation of history; so involved with such a depth of emotion and suffering that it overshadows, by proportion and extent, all else in this country's past.

It had been from time immemorial the practice of decorating graves with flowers. The real reason, the war was fought was over the issue of the continuance of slavery; politically this involved the secession from the Union (the polity of the nation). There was no foreign enemy. American killed American without parallel.

One section of the country was defeated, and in ruins. They especially thought of the time before the war, and as elsewhere after a country has lived in war, the most noticeable occurrence is the absence of those that were. They also had to know at some level that the hardship had come at the price of protecting 'the peculiar institution', and how can one mourn the abolition of slavery? The cause could not be commemorated, but the remembrance of so many dead could.

After so many years, those that remembered these war dead were gone. New wars brought new graves of war dead to decorate. The next concentrated event for the country was World War II, but the dying was done in other countries. There was little American experience of civilian war immersion, but the war was greatly historically significant. Thereafter, American politics began a governmental-military-economic ethos where Decoration Day became a martial Memorial Day [similarly Armistice Day became Veterans' Day], where a focus on the war dead was shifted towards a national obligation of all to the recognition of the necessity the deaths (and the waging of war) were for the continuation (and glory) of the national interest.
So, in partial balance for those who waged for peace (societal, national, international, and especially locally) a prayer service was sponsored by Pax Christi-Cleveland West at St. Therese Garfield Heights Ohio, on to-day's Memorial Day 2013.
In Memoriam Cleveland Peacemakers

Rabbi Bruce Abrams – Outspoken critic of war and capital punishment. Built bridges between faith traditions and neighborhoods.

Ione Biggs – Police officer, war protestor, campaigned for human rights for everyone.

Judy Cannato – Visionary author, teacher, spiritual director, taught peace and compassion for all of God’s creation.

Aurelia Elliott – With The Catholic Interracial Council of Greater Cleveland worked for interracial justice.

Harry Fagan  Executive Director of the Commission on Catholic Community Action in the 1970’s. Trained people to create and lead neighborhood coalitions.

Dr. Joe Foley – Awarded the Bronze Star for being the first unit on shore at the beaches of Normandy, became a continuous advocate for peace.

Marian FranzDirected the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund for 24 years. As a lobbyist, she called upon members of Congress to enact legislation extending the right of conscientious objection to include taxpayers.

Fr. Bill Gibbons Priest and physician served on the Salvador Mission team 1965 – 1980.

Sr. Henrietta Gorris – Lived and worked in the riot-torn area of Hough in 1960’s, providing education for self-reliance along with food, clothing, housing development, and jobs.

Gene Goebel – Founding member of Cleveland West Chapter of Pax Christi USA.

Sr. Brigid Griffin President of the Sisters of St. Joseph, worked for peaceful integration of Cleveland Schools.

Fr. Vincent Haas Pastor & Spiritual Director, Worked for social justice and racial equality in the 1960’s & 70’s.

Frank Hopkins  Officer with the Commission on Catholic Community Action in 1980’s worked to implement the Bishops Pastoral on Peace as well as the national pastoral letter by the US Bishops’ Conference.

John Hughes – Catholic Worker, poet and writer, worked for the Commission on Catholic Community Action.

Joe Lehner – Catholic Worker, Jesuit Volunteer, worked tirelessly for the homeless. Inspired a new perspective for many area youth by helping them experience the great outdoors

Archbishop James Lyke, OFM A high school religion teacher in Ohio in 1968, he asked to be sent to Memphis, Tenn. after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated there. He became the first black Catholic priest regularly assigned to the state of Tennessee. As pastor of St. Thomas Church in Memphis, he introduced African-American elements into worship in the black parish and became deeply involved in civil rights. He later became, auxiliary bishop of Cleveland, and Archbishop of Atlanta.

Eileen McCready – Longtime member of Pax Christi USA, IRTF, Women Speak Out for Peace and Justice, Peace Action Cleveland. Spent three years at Covenant House in NY City ministering to runaway teens.

Charley Murray – Led Cleveland Catholic Diocese in providing for the poor, the aged, the convicted, and the homeless. Rallied Clevelanders in protest of the Gulf wars.

Fr. Ken Myers – Founded the COAR Children’s Village in El Salvador to care for orphans & refugees.

Robert Posta – Catholic Worker – passionate for peace and against all forms of murder.

George SolomonoffTireless worker for peace including the InterReligious Task Force, Cleveland Peace Action, Veterans for Peace, and Women Speak Out for Peace and Justice. He organized the annual Cleveland protest against the School of the Americas. 

Daniel Thompson – Poet Laureate of Cuyahoga County, a freedom rider with MLK, a war protester, he fought and wrote for Cleveland’s homeless, the helpless and the disenfranchised.

Laura Urgo – Lay missionary with Diocesan Mission Team in El Salvador.

Mary Vadas  Social worker committed to empowerment of those she served who were poor and vulnerable. With the Commission on Catholic Community Action lobbied to change US policy in the 80’s to end the Contra War in Nicaragua, the Genocidal war by the Guatemala Military, and military run government in El Salvador.


Catholic Worker Ralph Delaney dedicated his life to serving Cleveland’s poor and homeless, beaten to death while making a video of living conditions in CMHA housing.

Lay missioner Jean Donovan left her upper middle class home to accompany the persecuted in El Salvador, and though in grave danger she stayed, “because of the children.”

Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel, “Madre Dorthea” brought hope to “a country writhing in pain.” Her life and death opened our eyes to the cloud of witnesses among the Salvadoran people.

Rev. Bruce Klunder - Civil Rights activist, died in 1964 while protesting the building of segregated schools.

photographs of abandoned places #13

Warner & Swasey Observatory 1919-1980/2
Of this series, this building is lamented, and well fotographed on the 'nets'. The domes of telescope houses resemble a Trojan helmet, becoming immediately picturesque. But, the copper scrappers have attacked here. This was a 'nice' neighborhood, it was one of Cleveland's earliest suburbs, it is now an urban wreckage, yet very close to big money.
ivy covered halls
Last purchased by a real estate/mortgage wheeler-dealer (read felon) at sheriff's sale for the minimum bid of $115 thousand. Warner & Swasey built machined tools and devices, including telescopes. They were generous to Case School of Applied Science (now part of CWRU). They gave this wonderful building, and the stuff in it to the school. Earlier, in 1909, Warner & Swasey built a marble observatory for Denison College.
The Taylor Road facility was a genuine world class research observatory. They helped prove the Milky Way was a spiral galaxy. On a hill, in East Cleveland next to Cleveland Heights,there was housed and operated multiple telescopes. One was moved to a new observatory in Geauga County, where there is no city lights. It stayed there from 1957 to 1979, then to Arizona's Kitt Peak National Observatory.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

St. Stanislaus Lorain has been sold

The campus of St. Stanislaus Lorain has been sold for circa $210,000.
see Lorain paper story [click
--church, school, convent, rectory

It had been advertised for sale before (asked $525,000) the Mass of Eviction. Stories were run days before by WKYC-TV3 and the Lorain Journal.

St. Stanislaus Lorain Mourned
Tally of suppression -- 56, 57, 58 closures  

Also it is understood that Saint Lawrence Cleveland's remaining campus has been sold. This has not been made public.

postscriptum 22 October 2013: the campus of St. Lawrence was sold.

$100,000.00 Sales Price
  - 20,000.00 Commission
  - 17,335.31 Taxes and Title
$ 62,674.69 Net Sale Proceeds


Provenance comes from the French, via Latin. It means source or origin. Where did it come forth, is both the purpose and the source of the origin of the word. [French provenant, present participle of  provenir to come forth, originate, from Latin provenire, from pro- forth + venire to come] 

The word is most commonly used in detailing the history of ownership of a piece of art, or other object. There are museums who have people on staff to explore such an issue. Sometimes it confirms the artist, and date of creation, or the alterations on a piece. Recently the issue of provenance has repeatedly made the papers concerning items that forcibly changed possession during World War II, especially items looted by the Nazi government and agents of Hitlerite Germany.  Interpol first published a list of stolen works in 1947 [click Interpol, click FBI]. 

Another recurrent source of stories is that of very ancient works that have been sold on a black market outside the country of origin. Some of these works are archaeological, some are ethno-cultural artifacts. A very infamous case is that of the Parthenon [Elgin] Marbles. During the Napoleonic Wars, the English ambassador, Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin, to the Ottoman Turks arranged the removal of sculptural items from the Athenian Acropolis. They have been in the British Museum in London since. Athens, the state of Greece wants them back. One of the many arguments is that the occupying Turks had no right to sell Greek patrimony to the acquisitive English.  

But we can find closer, and more current items of problematic provenance.
 mosaic of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Aurora Ohio 25 May 2013
This is a mosaic of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a very common and favorite icon of Slavonic people about the world. It is beloved and cherished by western and eastern Christians, the Latin-rite, the Byzantine-rite, and the national Orthodox churches. 

The parish of St. John the Baptist Akron Ohio had a mosaic of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. It was last seen there by general parishioners on the night of its attempted (and eventually overturned) suppression by Bp. Richard Lennon on 31 October 2009. The parish was under an appeal to Rome, which issued a decree on 1 March 2013 that upheld the appeal. That decree and ten others, in the most diplomatic but exacting terms, stated the attempted suppression was flawed from the start and that Lennon was told this during his actions. In the interim, by canon law, all properties of an appealing parish were in stasis. Nothing belonging to the parish was permitted to be distributed, sold, or to be marketed. The, foto supra, was taken yesterday at the church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Aurora Ohio, Diocese of Youngstown in Portage County.
mosaic of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at St. John the Baptist Akron Ohio 24 October 2009
Now, Lennon and the diocese of Cleveland were caught several times marketing items, and real estate. [example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4]   "...St. Stanislaus, Lorain was suppressed 27 September 2009. 22 September the Lorain Journal and WKYC 3 both reported that a real estate agency had the property listed on its website at that date. Bob Tayek was quoted in both stories."   Later the Cleveland Plain Dealer, quoted Lennon's spokesman, Tayek: "No property is placed for sale until a church is officially closed." Very recently, Lorain's paper printed Thursday 23 May 2013 that the church sold for $210,000. Tayek was very quick (on another occasion) to slander and libel parishioners who rescued war plaques from rubble and destruction as thieves, but photographic evidence and witnesses easily showed him a liar.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

a savage capitalism surrounds us

There are local problems too, that are different from the international church. Yes, there is a monarchial model, but in the US it is worse. In the US it is an american business corporate model. For all extensive purposes, Mitt Romney and Richard Lennon are indistinguishable as executives. Self-justifying Calvinism is part and parcel of both capitalism and americanism. Success is license, and under license there is no penalty for the successful. This creates a pitiless and unrepentant monster. Everything is his right (power), and wrong is not an applicable category. Those not having power are not to be considered.

But there is hope beyond the sea. Our Pope Francis at least sees and speaks of the problem. On May 21st he said,"A savage capitalism has taught the logic of profit at any cost, of giving in order to get, of exploitation without thinking of people..." Earlier, at Mass on Mayday he spoke of the Bengali clothing factory where more than a thousand perished, "A headline that really struck me on the day of the tragedy in Bangladesh was 'Living on 38 euros a month'. That is what the people who died were being paid. This is called slave labour". "Not paying fairly, not giving a job because you are only looking at balance sheets, only looking at how to make a profit. That goes against God!" Francis sounds like a modern day Amos, or Micheas, or Jeremias.

Woe to him that buildeth up his house by injustice, and his chambers not in judgment: that will oppress his friend without cause, and will not pay him his wages. — Jeremias xxii.13.
Few priests in this diocese say words like that at Mass. Here in America, secular and religious, big money dictates. What American politician would ever use the phrase 'savage capitalism'? Every idiot on Fox would have a conniption, they would be demanding immediate impeachment. Bernie Sanders is a socialist, and a US senator, and the microphone and camera never find him; beyond that who? Not even the fantasy Kenyan immigrant would be attributed those words, not in his 50s Eisenhower mode, perhaps in the late January '61 cameo. Certainly not the bishop protector [Robert Morlino] of the Ayn Rand acolyte [Paul Ryan], and the anti-labor Wisconsin governor, and the apologist for the School of Assassins at Ft. Benning. No, the United States is the defender of savage capitalism. It is not 'an invisible hand' it is a richly gloved, and ringed hand that clenches into a fist, when it is not pointing directions. To be a good Christian, and a good citizen one is called to be in opposition to, at least, the policies of our leaders.

This savage capitalism has permeated the country. It is true that New Deal America allowed Americans to prosper, but this brutal greed has eroded that. It has seen a push to take away what was gained, and it finds new people from poorer countries to abuse. It levels prosperity downward towards slavery, and as economic rights diminish, so do political, social, and religious rights. This savage capitalism allows a very, very few to rule the masses. These economic royalists rule society, and control government, and ever increasingly so.  

In the church the same arrogance of power also holds. The average parishioner has the same standing as the average laborer. Instead of a brotherhood of 'we' or 'us', it is the exalted one over the very many. Our Pope Francis is giving us hope. He does not have the power to right governments, but he can govern our church, and shame the rich. Will bishops like Lennon, Morlino, and Finn fade from the scene? Will priests challenge Catholics to act as Christian citizens?

Slovene St. Clair

Much of the city is in rough shape. To generate interest, a number of things have been tried. Now, there is a push to showcase global ethnic/national culture which had been frowned on by the local powers that had been. Since they [the powers] offer nothing, the old culture of the people's heritage is worth a try.
 There is a Chinese zodiac snake in Slovene graphic style.
New banners are up on a stretch of St. Clair Cleveland between E. 55st & E. 72nd, the old Slovene section, which had bordered Croat, Polish, and Lithuanian neighborhoods. None of these are much intact. Now after the generation of internal migration originating from beyond the Ohio, and further economic and social turmoil the generation after, have transformed a tough area to a grubby one.
copied the style of XIXth century apiary panel folk art
 some are comic, some religious, some irreligious
Carnival season Kurant costume
Perhaps, the oldest settled town in Slovenija is Ptuj. In 1960, a modern organised Shrovetide festival/carnival began, Kurentovanje. Cultural anthropologists suggest these characters are vestiges of pagan gods, turned into laughable and scary buffoonish demons. Cleveland had its first Kurentovanje this year (23 Feb), although they advertised as a 'winter' festival.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ghost sign, vandalised mural

  on Cleveland's (general and governor) Saint Clair-Saint Vitus neighborhood
defaced mural on recreation building

Sunday, May 19, 2013

cleveland marathon

St. Clair Avenue Cleveland Marathon 2013, 23+ miles along

Friday, May 17, 2013

line ups

There was a line for those without tickets at St. Colman. The Cleveland Orchestra played on the west side. The crowd was enthusiastic, the musicians were at their usual level of professional ability. They want to perform at home. They played, without an intermission, five orchestral favorites in just over an hour. They flew in with the Hebrides (Fingal's Cave) by Mendelssohn. Many people realised this parish was heroically saved from destruction, and a celebratory air was evident. The concert was filmed and recorded for television (5/24 wviz) and radio (6/16 wclv). The orchestra wants public exposure to the non bourgeoisie, and St. Colman's is very active and interested in the neighborhood.
 a dozen in the family
Cleveland public art project - year of the snake E.30th 
last year, dragons; next year, horses 
sorry, i have met too many snakes to be enthusiastic this year 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

it's not over...

I was struck by a letter a friend forwarded.  One of the issues that has concerned me is the rights of the many against the power of the one. What has been important to me, and i have noticed of many others is their spiritual life, and particularly their religious culture and heritage. These two have come together in the questioning of religious governance. I recognise and proclaim to others that in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland there is great discordance. Now, to put this in perspective: Cleveland is not alone, and the majority of people in the area are not Roman Catholics (and in that they are fortunate), also some in the diocese have not been touched. Those in that latter group, should be. It is possible that their lives and communities have not been directly affected, for certain targets are very visible, and others not so much; but they should be cognisant of the damage done. Some are, and some are pitiless.

The diocese is not the Christian unit. The parish is the Christian unit. The parish is the community. The press, at least locally, will not let that argument (and argument it is not so much as it is the fact) air. Now what is a parish, and who created it?
For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.—Jesus quoted by Matthew (xviii. 20)
Instead of having arguments emanating from the parish, we are fed arguments from the diocese. And the crisis here is the diocese extinguishing parishes. The public square has been set. Now the diocese is the bishop, and the one Cleveland has is the proverbial 'hard man'. The parish are the people in it. This bishop 'listens' only to the pastor of the parish, whom serves at his pleasure. The local contest between the bishop and the parish is fixed at every possible point in favor of the bishop. The bishop demands every consideration, and many people demand it for him. I have been scolded, and worse, for my presumed lack of fealty, respect, and love for the bishop; of course the bishop gets a pass.

Well, in Cleveland it is the work of one particularly mean-spirited tyrant, Richard Lennon. He has been censured by Rome, but continues to operate at his wont. But even less odious American bishops have caused immense pain, and i am only speaking on the issues of parish life, governance, and the rights of Catholics in their own local church. There are other issues and causes i am not addressing, and advocates of certain causes may overlap interest in these issues i mention, i am not advocating modernisation and reformation, but a return to justice, even radically so. Essentially i am calling for traditionalism, and that is not anything in similarity to American 'conservatism'. I am anti-clericalism.

I referred to a letter, it was from greater Pittsburgh. I will quote the relevant passage: 
I believe there has been a mental and physical impact on people--many of whom are senior citizens--including my own parents and many of their friends.  I am not a psychologist, but I am pretty sure many of the men I am working with are depressed.  People I talk to cry quite a bit and I think it's because their support network is being taken away.  This is about much more than a church closing.

One woman who is my parent's neighbor was in the E.R. two weeks ago with a racing heart beat.  I realize it could be related to many things, but I know how upset she is over this situation and when I talked to her yesterday, I started thinking about how much damage I have seen.  Something clicked.  One senior citizen was found slumped over his steering wheel the same day he received a letter saying his church was being merged.  Maybe it was a coincidence.  We'll never know.

Is there any way to look at the physical and psychological damage done to people when their faith family is dismantled, their support network is removed and their routine is disrupted?  The damage being done is multi-generational but the group I am working with is largely senior citizens.
We work to try to arrange social events to keep people connected, but when I think about it, we are working to do what their church used to do.

Help for people in situations like this would sometimes typically come from a church, but in this case, it is the church unleashing the havoc.
No, no, no, it is not the 'church'. We are the church, it is those who have wrested power over the local church who have created this desolation. It was an elegant plea for a 'study' to examine the situation. Perhaps a committed academic may achieve national recognition of the situation. We doubt an American cleric would look.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

wildlife survives in industrial rustbelt

Geese family on a walk and feed by a remnant of the Ohio and Erie Canal, Cuyahoga Heights. Nearby is a sewage treatment plant, and the remaining industry of Cleveland. There were several steel mills, Alcoa, Standard Oil and many others. Some are still there.
 red bellied woodpecker, red headed is a different species
 gregarious turtles
  tree swallow
and on Whiskey Island, a red winged blackbird

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

photographs of abandoned places #12

1940-1976 Coast Guard Station Cleveland Ohio
replaced Cleveland Lifeboat Station  1875-1940
Accessed from land by a pier the station is on the west side of the Cuyahoga. During a build up era some thirty years ago, the industrial and warehouse Flats was churning out saloons for overpriced night life. For a short time (1984) a saloon was there on the station. In 2009, the City of Cleveland had a new roof installed. Cleveland was thinking of another museum.
Postscriptum: For the summer, the adjacent pier is open. It has become a part of Whiskey Island's Wendy Park.
postscriptum 2016: Cleveland Metroparks is rehabilitating the building

Sunday, May 5, 2013

ethnic holidays on US weekends

In America, a land where many have cultural ideas to an older country, people also celebrate the culture of their past. Some things are run by the week's calendar. Saturday and Sunday is the weekend, the other days are generally business days. The US has a dearth of holidays, and there was the successful push to create Monday holidays starting in 1971. First this was a federal governmental item, but immediately picked up universally. It is part three day weekend, and part convenience to business.

This year, the Polish Constitution holiday, the 3rd of May falls on Friday. In America, this is celebrated only in towns with a sizable Polish population and the rest of the society does not know of (or allow for) its occurrence, so the celebration must fall during the weekend. A Polish civic holiday is not readily divorceable from cultural and religious life, and that for most purposes is Catholicism; so it is often marked on Sunday afternoons after Mass. Now, a popular Mexican holiday is the celebration of the victory of Puebla, which is the 5th of May. In the last few years across the US this celebration has expanded, for some it is cultural and for some it is commercial. Now, in Cleveland the city government acknowledged the celebration in City Hall with a luncheon on Friday the 3rd, in which a mariachi quintet played. A Mexican flag also flew for the day from the building, replacing the Ohio swallowtail.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

byzantine dandelions

  St. John the Baptist Cathedral, Eparchy of Parma Ohio
sometimes northeastern Ohio looks like western Ukraine
 or in this case —Rusyn Carpathia


Friday, May 3, 2013

crockery in the creek

L - 11

West Creek, a tributary of the Cuyahoga, flows through Cleveland's southern suburbs. After rain storms over the years, and then the dry days household detritus is picked up and deposited. Many shards of pottery and bottles mix with the pebbles and other stones in the creek bed. A delayed opening of a new Metropark nature center will concentrate on the watershed.