Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Deu$ ex Machina Descends for St. Brigids

After a long fight, after numerous press releases enumerating the reasons for closing the parish and demolishing the church, after an hour's worth of wrecking ball that destroyed much beloved stained glass, apparently all is forgotten by the archdiocese as an anonymous donor steps forward with a $20 million endowment for the parish and the school.

I read all about it in the New York Times article Donor Gives $20 Million to Revive a Historic Church by Sewell Chan. Salient quote:

"In July 2006, a day after demolition work began, a State Supreme Court justice issued a temporary restraining order halting the work. But in February 2007, the lawsuit was dismissed, a ruling that was affirmed on appeal. In January of this year, the plaintiffs, appealing yet again, got permission to bring the case to the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.

Marisa A. Marinelli, a partner at the law firm of Holland & Knight who has been representing the Committee to Save St. Brigid’s since 2006, described Wednesday’s announcement as a “very positive development,” but said that the committee members had to learn more details and have a discussion before deciding whether to drop their pending appeal."

Seven other news outlets have picked up this story. Students of spin, or those who are seeking pronouncements not uttered by Joseph Zwilling, might want to read them all:

Anonymous donor saves NYC's St Brigid's Church

St. Brigid's Church Saved by Anonymous Donor by Junia Mink at "eNews 2.0."

Donation Saves Church (Update) at "Gotham Gazette"

St. Brigid's saved from wrecking ball by anonymous $20M donation by "New York Daily News" writers Christina Boyle and Corky Siemaszko

St. Brigid's Church Saved by Anonymous Donor at Gothamist

Manhattan Parish, School Saved by Multi-Million Dollar Donation at NY1

St. Brigid's Church is saved at "The Irish Echo"

The blogosphere has begun to weigh in with a post on "Shrine of the Holy Whapping." The post, $20 Million Later, St. Brigid's (NYC) Saved mentions Our Lady of Vilnius, saying "Whether or not the organ, or anything else, is still in place is uncertain, since the archdiocese had already begun to disassemble the building, and the Archdiocese of New York did some pretty serious pre-demolition work to other parishes slatted for controversial closures, such as Our Lady of Vilnius."

The post also has links to the history of St. Brigid's and its contents.

dotCommonweal has picked up on this story with David Gibson's post, Saving St. Brigid. At this point the forum is focussed on Cardinal Egan's sudden transfer of many pastors throughout the archdiocese. I hope that some of the regulars can bring some observations back to the point at hand. I also wonder if this development will cause any whispering in the loggia.

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

The St. Brigid story demonstrates that Egan only worships money and has no interest in demographics, propagation of faith, committing precious resources to the good of the many, etc. What money value is for his cathedral? He ia a despicable human being and low life. Saulius Simoliunas

Anonymous said...

It would have taken far less money to make timely and necessary repairs to St. Brigid's. What is costing multi-millions now is repairing the damage wrought by the Archdiocese at the direction of Cardinal Egan. Can those stained glass windows ever be replaced? and at what cost now?