Thursday, June 21, 2007


The saying goes that it is always darkest before the dawn. Today it has dawned on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and we revel in the light.

The Lithuanians all laughed last week when they spoke of "Jonines" and I asked, "Isn't he the guy that designed the stained glass windows at Our Lady of Vilnius?"

Without Our Lady of Vilnius I would not have known enough about Jonynas, the artist, and Jonines, the festival, to confuse the two.

But I digress. On June 23, Lithuanians, and others who think that this festival is cool, will celebrate Jonines, the Feast of St. Jonas, or St. John, as we call him here.

The traditional festivities include song, dance, stories, searching to find the magic fern blossom at midnight, jumping over bonfires, greeting the rising midsummer sun and washing the face with a morning dew. I even have a feeling that Jellybean might sing, most likely "Memories" from "Cats." God help Father Eugene.

I will happily gather with the friends that I have made at Our Lady of Vilnius in a New York city park to celebrate Jonines and Our Lady of Vilnius, the parish that has made so much possible for me.

No comments: