Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Pray More Novenas" Plans Gift of Prayer for Pope Benedict's Birthday

Our Papa, catlover and owner of the celebrated orange tabby and biographer, Chico, Benedict XVI, will be celebrating his 84th birthday on April 16, 2011.

The people at "Pray More Novenas" are planning a gift of 84,000 Novenas for the Pope's 84th Birthday.

Join up with to get 84,000 people to pray a novena for the Pope's 84th birthday. The Pope prays for us everyday so it's time to return the gift to him on the anniversary of his birth.

Sign up to pray here:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Today in History: Triangle Shirtwaist Fire March 25, 1911

"The Triangle Waist Company was located one block east of Washington Square Park. There were over 500 employees – most were young women, most were recent immigrants. March 25, 1911 a fire broke out on the 8th floor. The workers ran to the fire escape. It collapsed, dropping them to their death. On the 9th floor a critical exit was locked. People on the street watched as the workers began to jump out the windows. Fire trucks arrived but their ladders only reached the 6th floor. The elevators ran as long as they could, workers pressed into the cars; some tumbled down the elevator shaft."

In the end 146 people died. There was a trial but the owners, long known for their anti-union activities, got off. The fire became a rallying cry for the international labor movement. Many of our fire safety laws were created in response to this tragic event.

We remember because we are still fighting for social justice for all."

from the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition

My Lithuanian grandmother, who attended Our Lady of Vilnius, was the same age as many of the women who perished in the fire. Today we pray for their souls and, in their memory,work to obtain respect, safety and fair treatment for all workers.

Learn more at WNYC Archive: Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

RIP Margaret Ruta

A message from Josephine of Mary Help of Christians let us know that Margaret Ruta had passed on. Margaret and Josephine Ruta were featured in a New York Times article, The Church Ladies, in 2007 when the Salesian parish was closed by the Archdiocese of New York.

As we pray for Margaret, let us thank God for her example of faith and for the parishes that gave us the privilege of knowing women like her.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

In celebration of St. Patrick

As members of the Archdiocese of New York, today we celebrate the feast of our patron saint, St. Patrick. Today I learned that St. Patrick was not Irish and, initially, not Catholic! He was kidnapped and taken to Ireland. After escaping and returning to his parents, he underwent a conversion, was ordained to the priesthood and returned to Ireland. The banished snakes of legend were gone before he arrrived there, but he set about the expulsion of evil and the propagation of our faith, stalwartly facing many trials.

Maybe he had some Lithuanian ancestry...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

An evening out with the Rupintojelis

He might look too preoccupied for you, but He's my dream date! Friday, March 18, the Fordham University Center for Culture and Religion will present a program titled "Dead or Alive?: The mystery of the man of sorrows". My Rupintojelis and I will set out on one more journey in an education in faith started by Our Lady of Vilnius.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Meanwhile, west of Hudson Square...

The most recent edition of The Villager covers local resistance to a Business Improvement District (BID) east of "Hudson Square" in Soho in an article by Aline Reynolds titled "Soho residents wrangle over BID, artist in residence." Our Lady of Vilnius Church and Rectory are empty spaces on the map of Hudson Square BID.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Previously Spotted on Broome Street

After commemorating the 4th anniversary of the locking of Our Lady of Vilnius, some of the faithful trooped East to the Broome Street Bar. As we paused in front of this establishment, the person pictured above swept past us. Same silhouette, different color. On Saturday, the kilt was black and the jacket was black leather. We stared in awe.

Yesterday, as I had my wispy gray hair trimmed, I spoke to my stylist, Joe, wishing for a more dangerous look. He suggested a Mohawk and I went on to describe last week's vision on Broome Street, wondering whether I should go for the single spike.

Lo and behold! Here he is again in the "Sunday Styles" section of the today's Times! Does anyone in the neighborhood know this guy?

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

"The Villager" editorial endorses rezoning of Hudson Square

Our Lady of Vilnius resides at the southern margin of Hudson Square, where everyone thinks more creatively, even us!

The Villager's editorial, "A new Hudson Square," briefly explains the proposal and then expresses support. Basically the plan calls for increased residential development and a cap on building height.

New residents could mean new life for Our Lady of Vilnius. Traffic is so bad on Varick that a parish on the Western side of the street would be indispensable.