Sunday, March 29, 2009
""Too many bishops are treating parishes as if they were Starbucks franchises," said Sister Christine Schenk, a Cleveland-area nun who's been fighting for nearly two decades to institute change in the church through her organization FutureChurch.
"It's about more than money. It's about mission to the people," she said. "This isn't what Jesus would do."
The Rev. Bob Begin of Saint Colman couldn't agree more.
"The founder of our church started his mission by saying, 'I came to bring good news to the poor,'" said Begin, who described his parish as serving about 1,300 people in a community where the average income is below $20,000.
Saint Colman, which is slated to merge with another parish elsewhere, gets daily knocks on its doors from nearby residents, many of them immigrants from 25 different countries, who are in need of all kinds of assistance, he said.
"If this parish weren't involved in bringing good news to the poor, I would not spend a lick of energy trying to keep it open," the pastor said. "But because it is bringing good news to the poor, then I have a responsibility to guard and defend this mission against anyone who threatens it."
His parish and others affected by the recent announcement had until 5 p.m. Friday to file an appeal with the diocese. According to The Plain Dealer, which conducted a survey of the parishes, at least 11 had filed as of Friday morning. The diocese itself refused to comment on numbers."
The site also includes video of parishioners' responses:
Friday, March 27, 2009
On Friday the 13th Vladas Borkovskis and the New York Cats gathered at Annunciation in Brooklyn to celebrate Lithuanian Independence, make music and help Our Lady of Vilnius raise money to cover legal expenses. Joining them in the photo, above, are Save Our Lady of Vilnius Committee members Rita Stelmokiene, Mindaugas Blaudziunas and Ramute Zukas.
A big "Aciu" and "Thanks" to Mindaugas and the other organizers, the band and everyone else who joined in. Thanks also to Leroy Thompson for providing the photo that I was not there to take. Aaaargh!See the cats joining in, c.1946.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Just as it seemed that everyone associated with the remarkable case of St. Brigid's was going to ride off contentedly into the sunset, a voice from the neighborhood pipes up with some concerns. The latest edition of The Villager contains an opinion piece, New St. Brigid’s must be more than a ‘vanilla box’ by Roland Legiardi-Laura. The author expresses his concerns about the scope and nature of the restoration. I think it bears reading.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
This is a photo of my Lithuanian/American father, Joseph, and his sisters, Helen and Ann, taken at a family wedding reception in 1985. They all attended Our Lady of Vilnius as children in the 1920's. Though they were born here, in Manhattan, their first language was Lithuanian. When my father was old enough to go out and play, he learned the language of his American neighbors: Italian. He did not learn English until he entered first grade.
In my family, we always celebrated my father's name day with a fresh loaf of Lithuanian bread and the traditional Italian sfingi and zeppoli.
How could I not love Our Lady of Vilnius, where both zeppoli and zeppelinai are part of the heritage?
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Julia was among them. She was one of the first people that I met at Our Lady of Vilnius and one of the warmest and friendliest. I saw her as a social leader, animated, vivacious and doing what needed to be done.
Since the church closed, I have not seen very much of her, partly because of ill-health. At present she is very seriously ill.
Julia needs our prayers. Pray to Our Lady, so beloved by the Portuguese community, and to Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis, who said Mass at Our Lady of Vilnius in 1926 and who, himself suffered illness for most of his life.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Vladas Borkovskis and the New York Cats ...
play jazz for you at an evening dedicated to the anniversary of regaining Lithuania's independence AND to saving Lithuanian heritage in New York - Our Lady of Vilnius church.
Vladas Borkovkis- bass
Bill Vare- vibrophone, keys
Jay Rodrigues- sax, flute
Fabio Morgera- trumpet
Gintas J- drums
Where: Annunciation Church, lower hall (the building across the street from the church) , 70 Havemeyer Str., Brooklyn, NY 11211
When: Friday, March 13, 2009 , 7:30pm
Directions: Take the L subway train to Lorimer Street in Brooklyn. Walk east on Metropolitan Avenue, make a right on 5th street, pass the church on your right and look across the street for # 70 Havemeyer .
Info: Danius Glinskis, Judita sedaitis - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mindaugas Blaudziunas - email@example.com
Read all about it in Lithuanian!
Sunday, March 08, 2009
February 23 has passed, but it is not too late to contribute. Visit http://www.ourladyofvilnius.org/ to donate via PayPal.
You may also contribute by check.
Checks should be written to The Lithuanian American Community, Inc. Please write "Save Our Lady of Vilnius Fund" in the subject line.
Please send all checks to:
Lithuanian American Community, Inc. - NY District
Save Our Lady of Vilnius Fundc/o Zukas/Jencius
19 Willow Lane
Great Neck, NY 11023
All contributions are tax-deductible.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
I forgot to put the battery back in my camera last week, but I am glad that Lincoln Anderson did not.
The current edition of The Villager features coverage of the vigil in a piece titled Soho church lacks an ‘angel,’ but they have faith in lawsuit and brings the readership up to date on events since the church first closed.
Mr. Anderson was also on the scene when the news of anticipated closure first broke and The Villager published "'Pretzels' and 'Provolone" may lose their church". I always think of this piece as "Our Lady of Vilnius 101."