Sunday, November 29, 2009

"Latin Mass Appeal"

Today that famously anti-Catholic newspaper, the New York Times, published an op-ed piece by Kenneth J. Wolfe titled Latin Mass Appeal. The piece recounts the origins of the Mass that we currently attend, surmises that some of the ills that plague the church today spring from this liturgy and cites evidence that the Latin Mass is the wave of the future.

Too bad the extraordinary form was not the law of the land when Our Lady of Vilnius was closed on February 27, 2009. The Archdiocesan press release on this topic , STATEMENT OF JOSEPH ZWILLING, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS ON THE CLOSING OF OUR LADY OF VILNIUS CHURCH , offers Father Sawicki's lack of acumen in Lithuanian as one of the justifications for closing the church. Having heard Father's "Veni Creator Spiritus," I am sure that fault would not have been found with his Latin Mass.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Mental Reservation"

I first encountered this term in Grant Gallicho's dotCommonweal post on the Dublin clergy-abuse report. He quotes the Irish Times as stating:

"Church authorities used the concept of “mental reservation”, which allows senior clergy to mislead people without being guilty, in the church’s eyes, of lying."

This concept is explored in an Irish Times piece Church 'lied without lying'

The New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia entry for this term boggles the mind with its precision and fine distinctions between lying and making statements that are likely to mislead.

DotCommonweal commenter Bill DeHaas offers this reference on mental reservation, its definition and use by the Church.

Well, this scholarly excursion goes a long way towards explaining the archdiocese' press releases regarding the closure of Our Lady of Vilnius. I advise everyone to follow these links. It will help to explain the past and prepare for the future.

Friday, November 27, 2009

"Devastating failings of the past”

Yesterday news broke on the release of a 700-page report, prepared by a group appointed by the Irish government and called the Commission of Investigation Into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin. The investigation concluded that the police and the Roman Catholic hierarchy colluded for decades to conceal cases of child abuse by priests of the Archdiocese of Dublin. The NY Times presented the story in this morning's edition with a piece titled "Report Says Irish Bishops and Police Hid Abuse".

Grant Gallicho has posted on this topic at the dotCommonweal blog (Dublin clergy-abuse report released)

Rocco Palmo, of Whispers in the Loggia, has also posted (In Dublin, "A Perversion of Power.")

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

This morning I watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade on TV and heard a guy named Billy Currington sing these words from a float:

"God is great."

"Beer is good."

"People are crazy."

And for this, those of us who love Our Lady of Vilnius joyfully give thanks!"

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Good! We need consolation..

Monday is "Hug a Lithuanian Day". I learned this from Facebook. Now if Blumberg would only suspend alternate side on this special day.

The Demolition of St. George's Church in Shenandoah, PA

Today I received e-mail from a fellow Our Lady of Vilnius parishioner regarding the case of St. George's Church in Shenandoah, PA. St. George's is the oldest Lithuanian church in the United States. My fellow parishioner said:

" A page and a half in Lithuanian Newspaper Draugas (Chicago) details the impending shameful destruction of St. George's church in Shenandoah PA Church. It is the oldest Lithuanian Church and parish in the USA. The diocese of Allentown employed virtually identical formula that was used to liquidate OLV. "

News of the demolition is also available via a piece on the WNEP website, Historic Church Demolition Begins".

Keep abreast of this story on the website of those trying to save this historic church

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Feast of Our Lady of Vilnius

"As by miracle thou didst restore me to health in my childhood when, offered by my weeping mother to thy protection,
I raised my dead eyelids, and could straightway walk to the threshold of thy shrine to thank God for the life returned me"

from "Pan Tadeusz" by Adam Mickiewicz

Tomorrow, November 22, the parishioners of Our Lady of Vilnius will celebrate the feast of our Patroness. Those that can will gather, first at St. Patrick's Cathedral, later on the steps of our beloved church on Broome Street.

Though we are apart, we will always be together in Christ and in the immaculate heart of our Patron and Protector, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wrestling with Moses

Those of us who have tussled with Egan can certainly learn something from a woman who took on Moses. Robert Moses, that is. We all should read "WRESTLING WITH MOSES" by Anthony Flint.

Subtitled "How Jane Jacobs Took On New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City," this book was reviewed by Dwight Garner of the New York Times on August 4th of this year in a piece titled When David Fought Goliath in Washington Square Park. The book details a vision that Moses had to build a four-lane highway through the middle of Washington Square Park, raze 14 blocks in the heart of Greenwich Village run a 10-lane elevated superhighway, to be called the Lower Manhattan Expressway, through SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown and the Lower East Side. Thank God and all His helpers that this never came to pass!

Today this book came to my attention again via a comment to a post in dotCommonweal, Eminent domain: Clarence Thomas was right by Paul Moses.

Mr. Moses blogs of Thursday's news that Pfizer is withdrawing from its plan to develop a swathe of New London, CT; a plan that was resisted until 5 justices of the US Supreme Court ruled in Pfizer's favor. (see NY Times story of Nov. 12, Pfizer to Leave City That Won Land-Use Case)

dotCommonweal forum participant Patrick Molloy references Flint's book in his comment to the above post and puts it in a context very local to Our Lady of Vilnius, saying:

"The Jane Jacobs vs Robert Moses story is the subject of a recent well received book:

Enter “La Mountain” in the search box to learn about the priest [Father Gerard La Mountain] and the small parish [of the Church of the Most Holy Crucifix, now the Chapel of San Lorenzo Ruiz] that were at the center of the battle against the Lower Manhattan Expressway favored by Moses.

The page 172 entry mentions a tree planted by Jane Jacobs in front of the church. Here it is, still the only tree on the block:

Parishioners from Our Lady of Vilnius, the Lithuanian parish whose closure a while back occasioned some comments here, were also involved." [My emphasis]

If anyone associated with Our Lady of Vilnius can reminisce about this period in Village history, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

For All the Saints...

For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia, Alleluia