The LuLac Edition #445, March 24th, 2008
PHOTO INDEX: THE ALTAR AT ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH DECORATED FOR EASTER, THE BLOG EDITOR AND SENATOR BARAK OBAMA AND NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR BILL RICHARDSON.
THE LAST EASTER
It is amazing to me that I am on a death vigil for the church in which I was raised, baptized and confirmed. This morning at 11AM, the last Mass for Easter Sunday was said at the church, (St. John the Baptist Church) set to close in June. Packed to capacity, like it was when I was a boy, the familiar surroundings made it seem like nothing had changed. That of course was a momentary daydream. A young man held his baby in front of me while his wife dealt with her younger son who was a little tired, but not cranky or misbehaving. Joe Opendrick, a school administrator who went to St. John's a couple of years ahead of me sat in the pew behind. Richard Chen passed the basket as usual. Old friends David and Suzanne Dellarte (brother and sister) showed up to attend the church that nourished them spiritually. Mike Kosick who is a fixture at PNC Field despite walking with crutches was suited up as if it was his wedding day. (Once you see a guy in ballpark attire for years, you have to do a double take to see him dressed differently). A former co-worker from another part of my life, Judy Rydzewski Cudo was there with her husband, son and dad. (We had a picture taken of David, Judy and myself but it was a bit blurry). I understand WBRE TV came again to note the occasion interviewing people on the way into church. The joy of Easter was there for sure, because we all try to be practicing religious people. But there was an undercurrent of the end game coming soon. In a few months, the church built by our immigrant grandfathers and grandmothers of us all would be gone. The architecture and polished, carved wood that was an honor to its religion will pretty much be treated as another piece of real estate. Many of my friends and relatives tell me that of all people, I should not be making such a big deal out of this. But it is a big deal, you expect your favorite ball player or movie star of your youth to die before you. Your church? The rock of your faith, in a perfect world, should survive you. When I got home, Judy Rydzewski Cudo wrote me this e mail: I still can't believe they are closing our church. I remember having to go there everying morning for the 7am mass before school started. Received all the sacraments there, even got married there, had my boy Erik baptised there, mom was buried from there...sang in the choir there, played guitar with Narda Sperazza (the current organist) there......lots of good memories with Msgr Super and Fr. Strish. John Adams our second President once said, "At a time in life when most men prosper, I am reduced to living in Philadelphia". I thought of that quote when I read Judy's e mail, thinking that at a time in my life when you prosper spiritually because of your church's foundation, the church that shaped your very Christianity, you are reduced to living (however good) with only memories.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson who watched The Super Bowl with President Clinton, who had two cabinet posts in the Clinton Administration endorsed Barak Obama for President the other day. Richardson who says he still has great affection for the Clintons said that Obama represented a new generation for politics. Richardson who has been begging for the Vice Presidential nomination from anyone, seems to think hitching his wagon to the Obama star can get him some political love. Richardson thinks that Senator Clinton should also suspend her campaign for President because he feels a fight to the finish at the convention in Denver will be bad for the party. Not surprisingly Senator Obama agreed. The endorsement comes at a time when Obama's campaign is reeling in the wake of the Reverend Wright dust up. So that's a good thing for the candidate and puts Richardson in line as a campaign saviour should the Illinois Senator prevail. In the meantime, as the Clinton's break bread for Easter, you know they have to be thinking about the old Harry Truman quote about loyalty in Washington, "If you want loyalty in this town, get a dog!"