Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fortify yourself to deal with ghosts and goblins: Eat spaghetti!

One of the premier social events in my neck of the woods is the annual Our Lady of Pompeii Spaghetti Dinner, which takes place every year on the last Sunday of October, which today is Halloween. The doors of Deacon Tony Barbieri Hall open at 1:00 PM and they serve until 6:00 PM. Diners wait on line and are seated, first-come-first-serve at long tables. Soda and water are in plastic pitchers on the table. For $14.00 friendly volunteers serve a small salad made with a good gardiniera, a plate of home made spaghetti and meatballs and top the meal off with a piece of sheet cake. At the end of the evening many creative gift baskets along with goods and services donated by local merchants are auctioned off.

We're going to leave a bowl of candy on the doorstep for trick-or-treaters and join our friends at one of those long tables this afternoon.

Our Lady of Pompeii
Corner of Broadway & Ashford Avenue 95 Palisade Street
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
Fr. Timothy Scannell, Ph.D. Administrator

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Perspective on Just About Everything

I saw this on dotCommonweal and just had to show it here. A short film of enduring inspiration.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The St. Stanislaus Kostka Community Mourns the Loss of Jack Gavin

Yesterday I received an e-mail from former St. Stanislaus trustee Nancy M. The "Subject" line read "Sad News." This was a very thoughtful way of preparing us for the knowledge that former St. Stanislaus trustee, Jack Gavin, had passed that morning.

Jack Gavin was not Polish, but joined the parish because he liked it, because, once tried, it felt like home. He was in the rotation as Lector and served with a professional-quality broadcast voice and diction, a ready improvisational wit and a sense of humor. He was our traditional Christmas Eve lector, where he narrated our lessons and carols, finding a permanent place for a Navajo prayer in the sequence of Polish "Kalendy" and traditional American favorites.

Jack was one of the delegation that met with Bishop Dennis Sullivan during the Archdiocese of New York's 'Realignment' process. St. Stanislaus Kostka could not have had a better representative.

My heart would lift when I saw Jack. He always had a smile, a wickedly accurate observation and a warm show of support. He was there at civic events, veteran memorials, and church socials. He spread his talent farther afield by educating senior citizens in the intricacies of Medicare and healthcare benefits.

Though Jack never set foot in Our Lady of Vilnius, he knew that my grandparents had worshipped there, that I attended Mass there when on hiatus from the St. Stanislaus choir and that I had sought refuge there after St. Stanislaus closed, calling it "the Greenwich Village St. Stanislaus." I hereby consider him a member of our Broome Street basement community of saints, where he would have been in his element kibitzing with the 2 Joes, P & Z, and the guys from the Knickerbocker Council K of L.

Jack left us from time to time for a soujourn in the hospital. We felt a little lost while he was gone and prayed that he would be restored to us and, until now, he always had been. We will pray that he rests in peace with Christ, Our Savior, and that he will continue to help us through the inspiration of his memory and by praying for us. We will also pray for the consolation of his wife, Rita, his children and those left forlorn by his passing.

CLICK HERE to view his obituary in our local paper, The Journal News.

CLICK HERE to read acknowledgement and tribute from the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Oakland, CA's "Catholic Voice" Publishes Piece on All Souls Observance in Lithuania

I could refer to "The Catholic Voice" as the Archdiocese of Oakland's "Catholic New York," but it would not be accurate. For one, Father David O'Rourke, OP, co-producer of the film "Red Terror on the Amber Coast" is a parish administrator in this archdiocese and their paper is publishing a piece about the special meaning of the Feast of All Souls, Velines, for Lithuanians.

Father O'Rourke's "Commentary" addresses the process of remembering the dead after 50 years of Soviet occupation during which one out of every six Lithuanian citizens was exterminated. All Souls Day, Lithuanian Catholics remember victims of Soviet occcupation
addresses the remembrance of the souls of 2oth century martyrs of Lithuania, those who were apprehended, killed and buried anonymously in mass graves. Father O'Rourke concludes his piece, saying:

"And in that, I now realize, is the meaning of the candles. They light them, of course, for the dead buried in the cemetery. But they light them also as their point of contact with those who disappeared. They are able to take the blessed candles, made with their own hands with beeswax from their own land and light them to burn throughout the two nights.

They light them to dispel the darkness under which they lived for 50 years. They light them to renew the light of human memories. They light them with the hope that, wherever they may lie, the souls of their dead may be in the hands of God."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Our Lady of Vilnius, NYC: Revitalising the Church by Brawling in the Saloon of the Blogosphere

"The Catholic blogosphere been described as a Wild West, where barroom brawls are commonplace and mob lynchings not unheard of..."

The Catholic Herald (UK) has published the full text and address given by their chief feature writer, Anna Arco, to the World Press Congress in Rome. The piece, titled The wild west of the blogosphere can revitalize the Church is a thoughtful and optimistic piece about bloggers, their relationship to professional journalism and their role in evangelization. Salient quotes:

"It is true that the tone in the blogosphere is often angry – and sometimes not without cause. People have turned to blogs because they have not been heard, because their concerns are not being listened to or even taken seriously. If their criticism of local bishops is uncharitable, it is possibly because is a real rupture in the communion of the Church that needs to be addressed. I know of more than one case where Church authorities have attempted to shut down blogs that are critical, using arguably the same sort of aggressive tactics they accuse the bloggers of using."

Church authorities using aggressive tactics to shut something down! I'm shocked!

Monday, October 11, 2010

If any of you has received an e-mail from Cardinal Egan...

The Archdiocese of New York web site has posted a warning about e-mails from Cardinal Egan emanating from an address. Apparently these e-mails are a hoax.

If you are Lithuanian or Lithuanian-American and have received e-mail from Cardian Egan stating that Our Lady of Vilnius Church will be restored, the parish will be resurrected and St. Casimir will be the new patron saint of the Archdiocese, stop singing "Valio!" and dancing in the streets immediately, because this is a hoax.

But seriously now, what do these e-mails say? Apparently the Archdiocese wants to know, too. The AD of NY's alert asks for the e-mails to be forwarded to them or to be mailed directly to Archdiocesan Chancellor, Father Gregory Mustaciuolo.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Small is beautiful

I saw this London home in today's NY Times Homes Section. The piece, A London Home Makes the Best of an Odd-shaped Plot describes architect Graham Bizley's 6 year odyssey in designing and building this charming, very "Our Lady of Vilnius" home. The interior as well as the exterior evoke that OLV feel in me. Kudos to Mr. Bizley. Posthumous kudos to our architect as well, theatre designer Harrison G. Wiseman.* Both of them belong in the Our Lady of Vilnius Basement Hall of Fame. Seat them with Dorothy Day and Avery Dulles and give them each a Svyturys!

Harrison G. Wiseman was born in Springfield, Ohio, and established a New York City architectural practice which thrived on the design of theater buildings, including the John Golden Theater and the Yiddish Art Theater (12th Avenue and Second Street), as well as the Oriental, Alpine, Cameo, and Commodore Theaters, as a commission for the Loew's theater chain.

Harrison G. Wiseman obituary/ New York Times, June 14, 1945.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Archdiocese to Release List of Schools it May Close

In a compact, fact filled article in the upper left hand corner of page A26 of the print edition of the New York Times, Paul Vitello presents all the news that's available to print on the next wave of closures in the Archdiocese of New York. The most controversial aspect of Archbishop Timothy Dolan's restructuring lies in this sentence, wisely deserving of its own paragraph:
"Income from the sale or rental of former school buildings would be shared by all the schools in the system, rather than kept by the parishes in which they sit."
Read Mr. Vitello's article in its entirety online at the NY Times: Archdiocese to Release List of Schools it May Close.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Annual Italian Mass Today at 5:00 PM - Our Lady of Pompeii, Dobbs Ferry, NY

I consider Our Lady of Pompeii in Dobbs Ferry to be the Italian sister of Our Lady of Vilnius and St. Stanislaus Kostka. It is about the same size and has the same grass-roots agapeic spirit.

This evening at 5:00 PM the annual Italian Mass will be celebrated at 5:00 PM, most likely by Father Luke Sweeney. This is one of my favorite Masses. Old hymns are sung with feeling Napolitano style by strong altos and the heritage of the parish is celebrated. The spirits of the departed will be remembered, Deacon Tony Barbieri most especially. I will also remember Father Carmelo Glavina who formed a truly dynamic litugical duo with Deacon Tony. The feast of St. Francis of Assisi is tomorrow and I will be happy to share in this Eucharistic celebration with my adopted paisanos.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Superlative Vibraphonations

When honorary Lithuanian Bill Ware is not impaling with Vlad, he is a Jazz Passenger. I learned this from the NY Times while hanging over my morning coffee. The reunited Jazz Passengers appeared at Jazz Standard with Debbie Harry last Wednesday, performing cuts from their newly released "Reunited" album. Bill Ware can be seen behind front man Roy Nathanson, working his customary magic on the vibraphone. Read all about it in "Not Exactly Your Top 40 ‘Reunited’" by Nate Chinen.

Though obviously not on the Archdiocese of New York's 'Top 40' (unless the list of parishes for closure) the community of Our Lady of Vilnius hopes and prays that it, too, will be reunited."

Friday, October 01, 2010

Jazz Concert Tonight @ Lithuanian Alliance

Celebrating A love of Music


Vladislav Borkovski- el. bass
Bill Ware- vibraphone
Jay Rodriguez- sax / flutes
Malik Washington- drums

At the
Lithuanian Alliance of America
(Susivienijimas Lietuviu Amerikoje)

307 West 30th Street (betw. 8th & 9th Av.)
New York, NY 10001

(212) 563-2210

Suggested donation $10

Doors open at 7:30 pm
Performance starts at 8 pm