Monday, January 13, 2014

pilgrims and friends

Elizabeth Wood Perez is a wife and mother. She is wearing camouflage pants, because she is a veteran of ten years of the United States Marine Corps. She is a daughter of St. Margaret Mary's of South Euclid. This was one of the fifty-eight parishes that Bishop Lennon closed, and its appeal mysteriously vanished, and there has been no answer given.

In many ways Mrs. Perez is remarkable. She has been apportioned grief, bother, and sorrow; and yet she is of a most fervently cheery and approachable demeanor. At the time of the parish's eviction, and suppression, her husband was arrested. She turned to the pastor of the open St. Gregory's and was rudely, and insulting rebuffed. She quoted Catholic theology of mercy to the priest, and this caused him to snap at her. This is mirrored in the lives of many Catholics, officious priests called on their neglect of pastoral duties and contradiction of teaching whom instead of correcting their errors reply in snide umbrage. Sometimes people do not lose faith, and leave the church, but are actively pushed away. Asking a priest of St. Clare's parish for help for her jailed husband, she was told, that "we don't do that anymore". Her husband is a deportee.

She attends St. Ann's now. A priest from there gave her the crucifix to carry during the pilgrimage.
When the word came that the pilgrims had made the turn from Euclid Ave, people gathered to greet them. A retired attorney, Joseph Meissner (rear right with pocket phone), called the bishop of Cleveland, and the mayor of Cleveland to ask them to be at St. Casimir's to also welcome the pilgrims. To do so would show that the Church welcomed the émigrés, and to remind the public that Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were strangers and immigrants in Egypt; and to do so would show that elected leaders cared about residents; and both would make a political statement of forthrightness to expose the onerous, unjust, and unfair policy that is inflicted on humble people. Joseph did not get through to the men, although he did speak to female subordinates. No one would come from the chancery, nor from City Hall.

One block away from Saint Casimir, on Kosciuszko, they rest and listen to the last directions before arrival and entry.
John approachs the open doors of St. Casimir's and a cadre of welcome.

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