Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday -- What Does Your Church Mean To You?

Happy Palm Sunday to all the readers of Italian American Girl. I'm not one for holy rolling or pushing religion on anyone. But as it is, I was brought up with a strong faith in Catholicism. I think everyone has their one way of self Catholic expression and I really don't think anyone is perfect: especially Catholics. In light of all the negative things that have happened in the church which no one denies is definitely bad, we have to also look to our own self expression of what our Catholic churches mean to us.

I think many churches serve as a place to reflect, a place to find peace, family, history and traditions. I recently received a letter from a parishioner in Brooklyn, New York who pleaded for me to read what's happening at her church. She like many others was once the faithful parishioner of a church called our Our Lady of Loreto Brooklyn.

This traditional, magnificent church has been the constant in a changing neighborhood and has served many Italian Americans since the early 1900s in Brooklyn, NY. Many baptisms, communions, weddings, services and masses have happened here and now with the ever changing downturn of economic decisions, church officials have decided to let the church be demolished.

As an Italian American, we fight everyday to preserve our heritage and work on campaigns to raise money to save buildings, (for example; Little Italy) programs, statues, art, language... why is this church being demolished? The driving force behind all bad decisions-- which it seems Italian American history is always getting hammered always goes back to economic factors. Look, I was in church this morning... admiring the beautiful artwork and history....and I thought how you can you destroy something so beautiful for something you know will result as my father would say in dialect (S-K-I-F-E-W --not the true spelling.)

Also, my father worked for the Archdiocese in New Jersey for over 25 years so when I see things like this happen it upsets and actually disgusts me. Do tradition & faith have no place in this world anymore or has the not so mighty dollar brainwashed everyone? I feel for the parishioners in Brooklyn, who love their church. You know the Vatican is old too, are they demolishing that as well for condos in the middle of Rome?

Let us also reflect this is Holy Week with not so holy actions taking place. This parishioner wrote me "I'm praying for a miracle." AMEN TO THAT.

This was also covered in The New York Times: "A Fight for a Church Is Evoking Introspection"


Elizabeth Condelli said...

You ARE a good Italian American girl!
Buona Pasqua!

una mamma italiana said...

Buona Pasqua -
I admire what you are doing here. God Bless you for giving this article some publicity! You go girl! I love that this is so in line with the idea of preservation that you are all about. You know, preserving the culture that Italian AMericans are losing every minute with each apssing generation. Thank you for all that you do. I am totally becoming a facebook fan!

Italian American Girl said...

Ciao Una Mamma Italiana, grazie!

Anonymous said...

I have been following all the newspaper articles about the campaign to save this church from the Our Lady of Loreto websites News & Update page.

The group that is trying to save this beautiful church has made a wonderful alternative proposal to Bishop DiMarzio. However, Bishop DiMarzio wants to sell the property to the Progress of Peoples Development Corporation who has plans to tear down the church and build 88 affordable housing.

The alternative proposal made by the group offers 102 new units of affordable housing plus restore the church and use it as a cultural and community center for future generations.

This plan is a win-win situation for everybody. So why won’t Bishop DiMarzio except their proposal?

There is no legitimate reason for the Bishop to refuses their proposal.

Bishop DiMarzio is very corrupted and he is getting a kick-back (money under the table) from the other developer.

Bishop DiMarzio is a disgrace to the Catholic church and the Catholic people.

He is all about money and has turned the Catholic church into an enterprise for his own financial gain.

Check out the Our Lady of Loreto website to see this beautiful church.