Sunday, October 12, 2014

Festa di Cristoforo Colombo

Moorestown's fall fest yesterday was all but rained out.

Halloween party in Mount Holly.

Mass: Da pacem. I was glad when they said unto me: we will go into the house of the Lord. Oh, fudge. No External Solemnity of St. John XXIII, the big-hearted man responsible for the church's version of New Coke. I'm destroyed. Et circumdabo altare tuum. Since the altar is pushed out to be freestanding, Fr. Matthew walks all the way around it to cense it as well as getting the tabernacle; the ostensible reason Sacrosanctum Concilium said the altar "should" (not "must") be freestanding. But the mistaken notion that the early church did versus populum had been around a while. Some priests played with it in the '50s, because you can do the traditional Mass that way. (Want to play early church? OK! Public confession with only one chance! No takers? Chicken.)

Our holy mother, the church: St. Thomas Aquinas at 17th and Morris has gone from de facto Italian (there's a statue of St. Rocco) to Vietnamese (the French converted a few, such as the family of Ngo Dinh Diem and Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngo Dinh Thuc; a family who used to live near me had an outdoor shrine of Our Lady of La Vang) and, the language the lady in the pulpit before Mass was praying the rosary in, Indonesian. Another Indonesian lady was playing a cheesy electric keyboard as accompaniment. I didn't know there were many Indonesian Catholics, from the world's biggest Mohammedan country; I'm sure they're grateful to be in South Philly.

16th and Mifflin: Beautiful picture and campanile, but this was never one of Cardinal Dougherty's parishes. Built as St. Elisabeth's Episcopal Church around the turn of the last century, in baroque Catholic splendor, and NOT to steal Italians! It was a labor of love by sincere Anglo-Catholics for other WASPs; South Philly wasn't Italian yet. Most of the parish, including the priests (Msgr. William McGarvey), became Catholic after 1908 because of the women's ordination or gay marriage of its day: General Convention voted to allow other Protestant ministers to preach from Episcopal pulpits. St. Elisabeth's limped along for many decades afterwards, at one point becoming a soup kitchen targeting Italians. It's now a black Pentecostal church.

Watch it: this Pom bites! "She's just afraid."

The Geator with grand marshal Chazz "Now Youse Can't Leave" Palminteri (throughout the '60s, Italian-Americans said no to the Sixties). He was happily distracted: no crack about my hat this year.

Mummers and more. The Caddy behind Mayor Rizzo's banner is his old limo. The Irish-looking crew aren't lost; they're alumni of West Philly's long-gone St. Thomas More High School, now a Sunni Muslim school named for Nation of Islam first lady Clara Muhammad.

JROTC: very cool and just the right kind of self-discipline to teach a ghetto high school.

Road warrior, 17th Street above Morris: '55 Buick.

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