Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day 2015 at Our Lady of Vilnius Church

This is what we saw when we turned the corner from Varick onto Broome.

And this is what we saw from the far side of Broome Street looking head on.

Here's a better look at the particulars of demolition.

We took a peek through each of the little diamond shaped plexiglass windows and this is what we saw:

The door that we used to go downstairs to the church hall..

And what is left of the steps on which we used to gather.

So we set up our little shrine of remembrance and hope:

Having done this we each voiced the intentions of our prayers:

  • The souls of all, living and dead, whose lives had been touched by this church, especially the souls of those who passed during our struggle: Frankie Pretzels, Dalia Bulgaris, Danute Strout, Jurgis Aleliunas, Julia Martinho and Joe Zaccaria.  We prayed for former Trustees Joy McAleer.  We prayed for those who had suffered from ill health.  We prayed for our most recent pastor, Father Eugene,  and all the priests that came before him. 
  • We voiced our hope that the Holy Spirit would again concoct a parish in which the Mystery was so clearly present and where we all felt at home.  And we promised to help.
We prayed the Rosary in front of our little shrine, blubbering through most of the first Hail Marys of the first decade.  We began to cheer up around the second Glorious Mystery, the Ascension and practically high fived at the third, The Descent of the Holy Spirit.

You've given us enough to live on anywhere we go.


Regina said...

I am from Our Lady Of Peace church (one of many involved in the latest round of church closures) and just last weekend I mentioned your church during our sacred sites open house weekend. No one seemed to have any idea Our Lady Of Vilnius no longer stood and when I searched, only to read that Wikipedia listed it as demolished in May 2015, I was shocked. I have many fond memories of parishioners happily pouring out of this church as my family and I would drive by on holidays, as we headed into the tunnel to visit family in N.J. and I am very sorry to learn of this last chapter in the story of Our Lady of Vilnius .

Regina said...

I've been reading through you blog in hopes of learning something from it as I am perhaps walking in your foot steps . I was shocked to read your account of how the church was closed and would hate to think this is how it will happen at Our Lady Of Peace (and all of the other churches scheduled to close on or before August 1st) but at least I know to be on the look out for locksmith trucks arriving unsummoned. If you would not mind, I would like to ask you for advice. What would you tell someone with 55 (or less) days ahead of them -have you any words of wisdom for how to do this? I am beginning to feel like there is a mountain ahead of me and I am soon to slam into it so I have begun to brace for the impact. In an odd way, it even began to feel like the beginning of Lent this week in that clouds have formed above , time has slowed to a crawl and something cataclysmic is brewing , minus the resurrection. I began to feel as if there should be some sort of religious ritual for these last days. As of there should be things one does , some sort of formal process one observes in this sort of moment in time . How do you say "good bye"? How do you lay a church to rest? How do you prepare so that you survive /how do you pace yourself to be able to endure and be present . Thanks, in advance, for any advice - would be greatly appreciated .