Showing posts with label Catholic Church. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Catholic Church. Show all posts

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"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Italians Celebrate Ferragosto On August 15th.

August 15th is Ferragosto in Italy. Its an important Catholic holiday, where Italians celebrate the day Virgin Mary was transported into heaven. Religiously, yes its very important to Catholics but Ferragosto, also signifies a period of rest, vacation and family time within August for most Italians. Many Italians venture back home from the cities and take mini-vacations to celebrate the summer. In Italy, you can attend feasts in every other town where fireworks and parades of saints and the Virgin Mary make their way down crowded streets. I remember as a child while being in Italy, my mother being so excited to see the statue of the Virgin Mary come down from the streets. To catch a glimpse of the statue and be part of the crowd was exciting. Till this day, my mother still gets excited for the parade and cherishes her photos all during the year of the Virgin Mary. I love that the holiday celebrates our religion and the Italians teach you how to reflect, celebrate and oh yeah--enjoy yourself. Happy Ferragosto.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Midnight Mass 2008 From St. Peter's Basilica--Rome, Italy

Its Christmas Eve, and in preparing for the holiday, we will watch along with millions from around the world the midnight mass from Rome, given by the Pope. The mass is most definitely one of the most beautiful and spiritual masses given. The magnitude of the Catholic church and its followers from around the world are seen in Rome tonight. Its pretty amazing, be sure to watch. This year we really need to pray for the world and each other. The broadcast times vary so, check your local listings today. Buon Natale a tutti.

St. Peter's Basilica

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Church.

My mind is everywhere today, I thought about religion today because this woman I know was talking about going to church every Sunday and how she won't miss it because she feels like she's a better person because of it. I can tell you from first hand experience, this woman is not a good person based on her malicious actions in the past. I won't judge her and will respectfully listen to her side of reasoning.

Again, I'm not a priest or nun...nor do I claim to be one. I attend church when I can but I will admit I'm not there every week or donating every two seconds. My father worked for the Archdiocese for most of his life here in America. So, if anyone knows the church and what its about ..its me. My personal opinion and feelings of the Catholic Church are mixed. Yes, there is corruption, scandal and badness, but what is created through the 'holy-rollers' is what creates the negative Catholic stereotype.

I posed the question in an earlier blog about "how do we expect to keep the interest and culture of the young Italians if we are constantly surrounded by negative Italian stereotypes..? Well, I think the same goes for the Catholic image. Italians are a large Catholic faith based culture and attaching a second negative stereotype to our belief system is also a strike against us. Look, I'm not saying the bad doesn't exist in the church, but what I am saying is that we as the "followers" or "parishioners" need to evaluate what it really means to be Catholic. Its not about the money basket, donations, and scandals. Its about educating the youth in a modern way about living a greater life without reasonable sins and resisting all evil. We live in modern times, we can't expect our youth to live like nuns and priests but what we can do is teach faith and give them the outline on how to strive to be better people. Education is key.

I'm going to jump around a bit on my thoughts.... I am Catholic and strongly believe in faith, hope, spirit, Jesus, God, a stronger force than myself. I am by no means a holy-roller. Sometimes its so hard for me to believe the masses that actually go to church, I'm not accusing anyone of anything negative and maybe its a good thing they go to church because maybe they could be worse as people, but my mind is made up-- the holy-rollers are a dangerous bunch. They force their children to go to church and all the while their kids are bad, sinners or whatever else..will kick anyone down while down. These are the people who think that attendance means you're a good Catholic.

You might know these people, they could live next door to you or even be related to you. My idea of being a good Catholic is being good to everyone, never malicious, accepting of someone or their ideals or religion, and being faithful to your own religion. The holy-rollers disguise themselves in the attendance records of being at church, but yet we all know the dirty secret of these phony 'Catholics.' They want to be good Catholics, but I guess will never be because their selfishness, maliciousness, envy, and ill will over power their disguise of the good Catholic. You know I feel this great need today to talk about maintaining our faith and belief system without expecting unreasonable expectations, educating your children with good morals and not just letting them think that if you go to church you're a good person. Work on being good, good can only grow. The Catholic church needs a makeover, and a PR campaign.