Monday, December 08, 2014

Parish mergers

St. Donato's Church, 65th & Callowhill Streets, Philadelphia.

  • Went to Mass at St. Donato's today, the former Italian national parish that's my parish's "worship site" actually a little closer to home (no Tridentine Mass). It used to have its neighborhood festival (street carnival) every summer. Lots of local black kids because the former parish school (archdiocesan) is a private Catholic school, uniforms and all, named after Mother Cabrini.
  • I had no idea Our Lady of the Rosary ("Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament") is closed. At night the stained glass in its tower would be lit up like a beacon of God's presence in a cold, harsh neighborhood. A 19th-century-looking Irish territorial parish (in which St. Donato's was located) that probably tried to go black culturally (white liberal condenscension?), as in gospel music (beautiful devotionally but not liturgical) and kente cloth (merry Kwanzaa, yo). It had a Sunday afternoon Mass in Haitian Creole (Africanized French spelled phonetically). Back in '08 after a Ron Paul speech I met an eager young postulant in the Franciscans who had a friary there; very John Paul II Novus Ordo conservative. St. Cyprian's is historically St. Carthage; the archdiocese merged Transfiguration into it and tore down Transfiguration, which was gray stone Romanesque splendor with gold mosaics. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia's broke, having spent down all the clout it earned before Vatican II. "How's that 'renewal' working out for youse?"
  • From April: Mon Valley parishioners stage sit-in to protest closing. I have mixed feelings about this. Of course part of my heart is with such, as was the police chief's. Then again it feeds the liberal mainstream's anti-Catholic narrative; they LOVE disobedience. It's not like teaching heresy in the Catholic school, wreckovation or liturgical abuse; it was heartbreaking but a lawful order from our resident "apostle," the bishop. In the traditional church, parish closings were announced at the preceding Sunday's Mass and that was that. (St. Brendan's, Philadelphia, closed in 1940, for example.) Actually in a similar town or two, closed parishes have restarted under the PNCC; wrong but very understandable. Their heart was in the right place: "We want to keep going to Mass so let's."

1 comment:

  1. That Pieta statue must have been mass-produced. There is one in the lower church at Nativity BVM and one in Our Lady Help of Christians as well. The latter is behind glass so it's in considerably better shape than the former, which has seen serious wear especially around the wounds of Our Lord.


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