Monday, September 03, 2007

Outside of the church

After 5:00 PM Mass at St. Matthew's, I stayed behind to sit before the Mary altar and sing "Marija, Marija." Since the strains of this hymn have been silenced it has been my practice to make them heard by singing the hymn in any church where I attend Mass.

When I sing, I pray the words of the hymn and attach it to my intention for the survival of Lithuanian spirituality in the Archdiocese. As I left, I saw one of my favorite singing companions and fellow choristers from the church of St. Stanislaus Kostka. She had remained behind to pray before the image of Divine Mercy. She is in her 80's, a native of Hastings-on-Hudson and a lifelong parishioner of St. Stanislaus Kostka. She had been a choir member since the age of 6.

"I thought I recognized that voice," she said. "Yes," I answered, "I sing this hymn in every church I attend. It is my prayer for Our Lady of Vilnius." "Did you see that woman on the news who had her funeral in front of that closed church in Harlem?" she asked. I told her that I had and that I had met many of those women and admired their spirit.

"Well, that's the way I feel," she said. I want to have my funeral in front of St. Stanislaus."

You can take us out of our spiritual homes, but you can't take our spiritual homes out of us. That is our gift to the archdiocese, the gift that will ultimately be its salvation.

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