Joe Maloney doesn't seem much different from Francis Healey, who was Grand Knight of the Knickerbocker Council, Knights of Columbus, at the time that Our Lady of Vilnius was locked. Last year I saw Mr. Healy standing at the corner of Broome and Varick. I walked up to him and asked "How are things in the neighborhood?" He replied "What neighborhood? The neighborhood is shot," waving his hand in the direction of an empty space on the corner diagonally across Varick where an interesting brick building had once stood.
Mr. Fernandez mentions Mr. Maloney's parish, 132 year old Holy Name of Jesus. Let us hope that this parish survives the cuts planned for the Archdiocese of Brooklyn. These parishes are the habitats of now-rare birds like John Maloney and Francis Healey. Mr. Fernandez describes greater diversity arriving in Windsor Terrace along with gentrification. Will greater diversity accompany residential development around Our Lady of Vilnius, which now bears the real-estate moniker "Hudson Square?" Or will we have a racially and geographically diverse population of seekers of new apartments, top of the line appliances, a short commute and ready access to their preferred consumer goods and night life? It is my hope that the inner light of a restored Our Lady of Vilnius parish will attract them and transform them into the rare birds that they were meant to be.