Friday, August 25, 2006

Out of Obscurity!

While I am trying vainly to upload my photos using dial-up, the Villager and Downtown express burst forth with an extravaganza entitled "'Pretzels' and 'Provolone" may lose their church"

The pictures are wonderful and all the cultures that inhabit this little sanctuary are given their due. I am so happy to have stumbled back into this church that my grandparents had attended. The article is a bittersweet celebration, though, because the church stands to be closed.

One word in the article that caused the hair on the back of my neck to stand up was "Zwilling." I guess that I should have some compassion for this guy who has to defend the indefensible. He is quoted as saying "There is a Lithuanian congregation in Brooklyn, I believe, that the people can attend." Why do I feel like eating a piece of cake right now?

Does the Archdiocese not really get it or are they being willfully obtuse? These parishes that have been around for at least 100 years have a unique culture born of their ethnic roots that grows and is enriched over time. The language may go by the boards as immigrants assimilate, but there is a spirit, an ethos that remains, illuminates the parish and presents its gift to all who attend, not just the Lithuanians. This is a culmination of all the pastors and all the parishioners that ever worshipped here. It is something valuable which should not be discarded. There is no mention of anything spiritual or sacred in this calculus of which church shall remain and which shall be closed. The Archdiocese should start looking at spiritual value and leave it to the parishioners to keep this parish alive.

I feel much better now. As Father Sawicki advised me after I was ranting to him on the phone about the proposed closure of my other endangered parish, St. Stanislaus Kostka, "Now say goodnight to Our Lady." I did. And I will.

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