Saturday, August 4, 2007

Our Lady of Vilnius


The author of Our Lady of Vilnius, NYC recently called my attention to the closing and impending demolition of her church, which has been serving the Lithuanian community in its Soho location for the past century.

Photo by Manzari

One day, the parishioners showed up to find that Cardinal Egan had the doors padlocked and the gates guarded by security. Now, the church is slated for demolition.

What will take its place? It isn't hard to imagine in a city that decapitates houses of worship to turn them into residential towers, that builds condo monstrosities to get closer to the heavens, and where construction cranes, filled with pride and hubris, climb higher than church steeples.

Crane over Grace Church


Niekieno Zmona said...

Thanks for the post. We are prepared for demolition, but still protesting and plotting. We keep praying that something besides brute force can prevail in this city.

Carl Jonson said...

I am sorry to see a Church go, but not many people were going to Mass there. Less than a hundred people. Mass was not even being said in Lithuanian anymore. The location is terrible. There isn't a significant Catholic/Lithuanian presence there anymore. The Pastor drove a taxi during the week. This is not a vibrant parish community you are talking about. What was the weekly collection? Was it enough to keep the church running and a rectory. Do you realize how much it costs to run buildings that size? There are plenty of churches where faithful can go to attend Mass. Urban areas like NY are always full of ethnic parishes that have lost there identities. The diocese has changed. There are not enough priests to keep all of these churches manned. Let Her go.