Thursday, March 29, 2012

NY Times blog notes Our Lady of Vilnius provenance of newly landmarked building

David Dunlap's City Room blog post "Four New (Very Old) Landmarks" makes mention of 32 Dominick Street's history as Our Lady of Vilnius parish rectory. Indeed, a history of bare necessity maintenance has left the building as the most pristine example of Federal architecture of the three neighbors accorded landmark status:

"Only one of them, 32 Dominick Street, might ordinarily warrant a second glance. It still looks very much like a Federal-style house: two and a half stories high, with a steeply pitched roof and two stout dormers."
I hope and pray that this status protects the building from demolition. I wonder what impact the landmark status will have on real estate transactions involving the church. I will treasure the memories that I have of sitting among friends in the eccentric, shabby clutter of the rectory office and parlor, sharing good fellowship an many a good laugh.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Our Lady of Vilnius Rectory Landmarked!

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has conferred landmark status on the Our Lady of Vilnius Rectory, aka "32 Dominick Street House". CLICK HERE to read the official announcement from the Commission.

What are the implications for the Archdiocese of New York regarding real estate transactions with these properties (OLV church and rectory)? Inquiring minds want to know and cats are dying of curiosity. In fact...maybe curiosity caused the demise of Jellybean.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Closing of St. Augustine parish, Bronx, NY

The NY Times has been accused of anti-Catholic bias, but David Gonzalez' piece, Learning to Worship Together in a Combined Parish, which appeared last week, showcases the best of both the Times and the Catholic faith. This is a thoughtful portrait of a parish priest and his scattered flock as they adapt to seismic changes in the Catholic world. While Father Fenlon and his parishioners are wonderful, the good news is that there are many like them quietly serving, praying and coping all over the world.

The picture of St. Augustine Church, above was taken by Matt Green, who is on a mission to walk every street in New York City. Thanks to Matt for documenting the people and places that are the heart and soul of our city. His travels can be followed on his blog, "I'm Just Walkin'"

Monday, March 26, 2012

What is going on at the Chapel of Lorenzo Ruiz on Broome Street?

This past FridayRev. Dr. Joseph G. Marabe, JCD, and the San Lorenzo Ruiz Committee celebrated the 3rd anniversary of their administration of the Filipino Apostolate of the Archdiocese of New York. The celebration followed an isolated news item, published on February 18th, that the Chapel may be in jeopardy due to money issues: "New York church may shut down due to money woes," by Don Tagala.

The chapel faced a closure scare in 2009. The closure of the church was announced by Archdiocese of New York spokesman Joseph Zwilling shortly followed by a retraction and an apology for having released the information in error. Father Erno Diaz was removed as leader of the community and subsequently reassigned. Father Lorenzo Marabe was put in charge.

There seems to be a lot of action under that rock. I think that we need to keep an eye on it. You may go back in time and view my previous posts on our near neighbor on Broome Street and landmark on our migratory path to the Broome Street Bar:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Our Lady of Vilnius mentioned in St. Patrick's Cathedral renovation piece

Our Lady of Vilnius is mentioned in David Dunlap's piece, The New Cardinal Takes On an Old Cathedral:
"He [Archbishop Dolan] was asked to contrast the restoration of the great cathedral in mid-Manhattan with the archdiocesan policy of closing neighborhood churches — no matter how beloved or beautiful — whose membership has fallen significantly. These have included St. Thomas the Apostle in West Harlem, Our Lady Queen of Angels in East Harlem, and Our Lady of Vilnius in Lower Manhattan."
Read the piece in its entirety to hear Cardinal Dolan's reply and his stance on the closings, Cathedral renovations and archdiocesan priorities.

Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Patrick Cathedral Renovation Seen in Judge Pigott's Crystal Ball on November 11, 2011

On November 11th, 2011, the New York State Court of Appeals heard the Our Lady of Vilnius case, Blaudziunas v. Egan. On March 16, the eve of the wearin' o' the green when Irish guys are smilin', Cardinal Dolan unveiled plans for a massive and costly renovation of St. Patrick's Cathedral (See David Dunlap's NY Times article, St. Patrick’s to Undergo a Three-Year, $177 Million Renovation)

If you go to the Court of Appeals' online video archive, , advance the video to minute 22:35 you can hear Judge Pigott say the following (my elucidation in brackets):

"But if, if they [Archdiocese of New York] decided we're going to sell this church [Our Lady of Vilnius] and this land for as much money as we can so we can give all the money to St. Patrick's Cathedral because we want to do a renovation there, they [Our Lady of Vilnius Parishioners inferred by me] may have an argument."

Is this statement based on hypothesis, conjecture or knowledge? Might this really happen? This kaciukas does not want to die of curiosity waiting to follow the money.