Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Reminiscence, prayers and inspiration from a former neighbor

"I lived at 555 next door to Our Lady of Vilnius Church, in 1942. My sister and I shared a bedroom on the side, next to where the church bell rang. It got us up in the morning, that's for sure! We played Chinese school on the church steps with the Browns and Duffys. It was a happy time for us as children, even though times were tough. We were in processions, at which I had the honor of crowning Our Lady. My father was ill, so my mother walked him across the street to his place of work at Mongomery Ward on Varick. He would be home for lunch which was very special. We got to see alot of him, and would have fun during the air raid drills, when the lights were out. It was a wonderful place and time, simple and loving. During a difficult time in my life, many years later, I attended a retreat at Graymoor, in Garrison N.Y. When I was leaving the chapel, I saw a poster of Our Lady of Vilnius church. I felt it was a sign from God, reminding me of those precious years at Broome St. I will pray that this very special sacred place be saved. "

Distracted by Beauty

Today our case was one of many on a lengthy calendar. Our attorney, Harry Kresky, fielded pointed questions from 4 judges (one had recused himself) who had studied the briefs. The attorney for the Archdiocese of New York, Peter Johnson, submitted his arguments to the same process. I could not even speculate about any outcome after witnessing the exchanges among the judges and the attorneys.

The Our Lady of Vilnius supporters sat in a row in the back; Aldona, Joe, Adele, Gediminas, Elaine and Mindaugas. I was honored to be among them, as I have always felt honored to be included in the life of Our Lady of Vilnius parish. I brought my miniature of the church icon with me; the same icon that had received a Papal blessing at Yankee Stadium last April. I held it in cupped hands and prayed.

Father Eugene had said that our church was Our Lady's house and would survive if it was God's will. My prayer was for the Holy Spirit to prevail in this process unfolding before me.

Throughout today's proceedings I was struck by the beauty of this courthouse, inside and out. The beauty of the statuary, stained glass, the murals, the ceiling and the bench itself both distracted and consoled.

Our Lady of Vilnius, the church and the parish, hang in the balance.

Our Lady of Vilnius, pray for us!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Our Case Will Be Heard in Court Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tomorrow at 2:00 PM our case will be heard in the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court.

Directions to Court

27 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10010
212) 340-0400

Take the IRT #6 train to either 23rd Street or to 28th Street
Go west to Madison Avenue.
From 23rd Street, go north to 25th Street.
From 28th Street, go south to 25th Street.

Take the BMT N or R train to 23rd Street
Walk across Madison Square Park to 25th Street.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Blessed Easter to All

"Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."

1 Corinthians 5:8

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Cardinal Egan is ill and in need of prayers

The T.V. news gave me a jolt this evening when I saw that Cardinal Egan had been hospitalized at St. Vincent's Hospital last evening. The Associated Press put out a terse accounting of the facts. Rocco Palmo elaborates a bit in his "Whispers in the Loggia" post Ed on the Mend.

As Holy Week begins let us keep Cardinal Egan in our prayers.

Verbø Sekmadienis !

"I am not the one striking,
The Palm is striking
You are not in pain
The Palm is in pain
Soon it will be Easter !"

The forsythia is in bloom in New York and so are the devotees of Our Lady of Vilnius on Broome Street. The air is fresh and sweet today, even outside the Holland Tunnel where the Jersey-bound motorists will idle and wonder at the flags, American and Lithuanian that will whip around in the wind. They'll watch the small group of people, joyful despite being outside the walls of their spiritual home.

I am not able to be among them today, but as I attend noon Mass I will unite with them in prayer for the restoration of our home.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

In Memory of John Paul II on the Anniversary of His Death

"Then there was Lithuania, another intensely Catholic part of the Soviet empire where the Church had been brutalized since the country's forced incorporation into the Soviet Union in 1940. Clandestine ordinations, an active underground network of clergy and nuns, and the longest-running samizdat publication in the USSR, the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania (first published in 1972), had kept the Church alive under religious repression and cultural Russification. Now came a Lithuanian-speaking Pope, a cultural heir of the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, who shortly after his election dispatched his red cardinal's zucchetto clandestinely to the Marian shrine at Ostrabrama [Ausros Vartu] in Vilnius."

-Witness to Hope, The Biography of Pope John Paul II, 1920-2005, by George Weigel
Our Lady of Vilnius, pray for us!