Monday, January 15, 2007

Extinguished Lights Burning Bright at Our Lady of Vilnius, NYC

Before Mass Larry carefully placed 14 votive lights on the mantel, beneath the picture of Vytis, behind the makeshift altar in the basement hall, where Mass is held. Through the Mass, they flickered, guttered and shone. When the petitions were offered Larry read the names and ages of the independence supporters who fell as victims to Soviet tanks and bullets on January 13.

As I listened, I was moved by their bravery and their untimely and brutal deaths. I felt a unity with the others in the room: recent and not so recent immigrants from Lithuania, descendants like myself, the Portuguese faithful and others that have been drawn to this community by the magnetism of the Holy Spirit.

The spirit of the victims lives on and is magnfied in Our Lady of Vilnius parish.

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