Friday, May 18, 2012

"Miracle on South Division Street" sounds like the story of my people

Photo by Aaron Pepis, The New York Times

Today's NY Times ran a theatre review titled "A Shrine, Some Soup and a Bunch of Secrets" (that encapsulates Our Lady of Vilnius right there!).   The play is set in a formerly Polish American neighborhood in Buffalo where a family of the original settlers run a soup kitchen in what was originally their father's barbershop.  The father was apparently visited by the Virgin Mary.  The plot tension is brought about when the granddaughter "who would be a struggling actress if she could only get a part" wants to dramatize the story.  The true story.

Sounds like a good comic relief for displaced parishioners of St. Stanislaus Kostka and Our Lady of Vilnius.  Oh to dramatize the story of Our Lady of Vilnius.  The true story.  If we ever get to know it, that is.

“Miracle on South Division Street” is at St. Luke’s Theater, 308 West 46th Street, Clinton; (212) 239-6200,

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Who needs Dan Brown with this stuff in the news?

Yesterday the NY Times ran a piece titled "Crime Boss’s Tomb Is Exhumed for Clues in Missing Girl’s Case." Dan Brown's novels pale by comparison:  the Vatican, a mafioso, the disappearance of a 15 year old girl in 1983 and the shadow of the Vatican bank scandal.  For Lithuanian-American conspiracy theorists, there is also a mention of Cicero, Il born Cardinal Paul Marcinkus.  Put on your thinking cap, Dan Brown, we want you to top this!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mary Help of Christians sold to developers ???

Please e-mail us with any facts or clues about this possible "development" in the sad recent history of Mary Help of Christians.

Mary Help of Christians parish, one of our 3 companions in resistance at the time it was closed in 2007, may have been sold to developers.  I received an e-mail from a former parishioner as follows:
"I am sorry to pass along this info.  I just read a text  that the Mary Help of Christians property has been sold to developers.  I have no details.  I am shocked and speechless right now."
Mary Help of Christians, pictured above, is located at 440 E. 12 St. in Manhattan.  Please help us out with any facts, clues or other about this situation that has former parishioners reeling.  Andrew the Sinner shares his photos and reflections on "Mary Help" from a March 7, 2010 visit in his post "90. Mary Help of Christians"

Friday, May 11, 2012

Growing Numbers of Lithuanian Americans Turning to Discordianism

Rejection of dogma in favor of catma
Lithuania was the last European country converted to Catholicism.  In post-Soviet Lithuania there is increasing interest in the pantheistic native religion that preceded Christianity.

Disappointment with the secularism rampant in the methods of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, coupled with the closing of Lithuanian-American parishes, is driving many urban Lithuanian Americans to Discordianism.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Degrees of Separation among the Brokers and the Broken

Today's New York Times Metropolitan section features a guide to power brokers, present and future:  The Powers of New York.  One of those profiled is chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, Jonathan Lippman, who presided over the hearing of Blaudziunas v. Egan, "the case of Our Lady of Vilnius."  William Glaberson's profile characterizes Judge Lippman as " ... a schmoozer who has had lunch with Donald Trump and breakfast with Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan."
In the forum following  a 2007 Gothamist post about Our Lady of Vilnius commenter "Upchuck" offered a connection between OLV and lunch date Donald Trump:
 "But Jen, you fail to comment on the fact that parishes are dwindling so that the land could be sold to settle lawsuits against the church.the actual size of the parish in numbers would have been irrelevent. people come and go in waves to church especially in the last 50 years (though it is more on the leaving side).the developer interested in this piece of land by the way, is Trump...along with two other church properties."
There is also an OLV connection to breakfast tablemate, Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal Egan's successor, who is on record as supporting Cardinal Egan's decision to close Our Lady of Vilnius.  I suspect that Mr. Glaberson had hoped to suggest a broad spectrum of schmooze-ees, but in OLV country his f'r instance runs the gamut from X to Z.

Ah, to have been a fly on the wall at these meals!    Naah, I would have been swatted pronto by the maitre'd.