Thursday, January 29, 2015 07:22pm
North Adams, MA now: 30 °   
Send news, tips, press releases and questions to info@iBerkshires.com
The Berkshires online guide to events, news and Berkshire County community information.
SIGN IN | REGISTER NOW   

Home About Archives RSS Feed
St. Stanislaus Reopens For Palm Sunday Mass
By Tammy Daniels On: 03:08PM / Sunday April 01, 2012
Important
1
Interesting
0
Funny
0
Awesome
17
Infuriating
0
Ridiculous
0
The pews at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church were packed on Sunday morning.


St. Stanislaus Kostka Church officially reopened on Sunday morning, Palm Sunday, with Mass at 8 a.m.
ADAMS, Mass. — The congregation restrained itself until the church began to empty. Then a hoot and a cascade of applause filled the historic St. Stanislaus Kostka Church on Sunday morning in celebration of a reopening that some thought would never come.

The Mass on Palm Sunday marks a new beginning after three years of vigil, appeals to the Vatican and, finally, an agreement brokered in hopes of healing a rift that had threatened to tear the Catholic Community of Adams apart.

"It was a great day in Adams, a great day for the church, a tremendous day," said a beaming Rev. Daniel J. Boyle afterward. "It's the unity and peace we need in this community ... it's been a tough three years."

He likened the attendance of the packed church for the 8 a.m. Mass to that of Christmas Eve.

But it was a far cry from a Christmas Eve three years ago when diocesan orders to close the beloved Polish church caused a rupture between the pastor and his unruly flock. Some of the congregation whose ancestors had poured love and money into St. Stan's refused to leave; others took their prayers elsewhere, prefering to worship anywhere but the newly designated parish church of Pope John Paul the Great up the street.

In February, the 24/7 vigil ended quietly on day 1,150 with the announcement the church would reopen as a place of worship in line with a ruling from the Vatican late last year that upheld the suppression of the parish but not the closure of the building. St. Stan's will remain a mission chapel within the parish named for the first Polish pope.

And on Palm Sunday, marking Jesus' entry into Jerusalem as the Prince of Peace, a long line of palm frond-holding worshipers prepared to procession — peacefully — into their church again.

"It feels awesome. We've been vigilant for 1,150 days and this is great, great," said David Meczywor, who has been a member of the church since "baptism on up." "It's overwhelming, it brings tears to your eyes."

Joan Pause, one of the more than 200 who sat vigil, said St. Stan's has played a central role in her life. She'd attended St. Stanislaus School next door, as had all four of her boys. They had their First Communion and confirmation in the church; it had been the setting of her wedding and her husband's funeral.


The Rev. David Boyle celebrates Mass at St. Stan's for the first time in more than three years. Right, David Meczywor, who was baptised at St. Stan's, attended with his family, describing the reopening as 'awesome.'
"I have a lot of good memories. A lot of people were negative but I told them something good is going to happen, that I'm not giving up," she said. "This is a miracle."

It was standing room only and ranging in age from the very young to at least 96, supplemented by a busload from Mater Dolorosa Church in Holyoke — another Polish church ordered to close. Inside, the bulletin board marking the vigil schedule was gone, along with the other elements of a long-term occupation.

"We knew it would come, it was just a matter of time," said Francis Hajdas, a leader of the vigilers who had prevented the doors from being locked and the church stripped. "I am trying to move into the background ... my work is done."

But the work of Shirley and Victor Anop isn't done. They're taking inspiration from St. Stan's for the far more contentious legal battle over the 111-year-old Mater Dolorosa that was closed last June. On one side, the diocese says the church is structurally unsound; the congregants say their right to worship is being infringed.

"Why would someone want get a restraining order to stop you praying in your church?" said Victor Anop. "We're fighting to stay in our church and find out what's really going on."

Anop, an attorney, said the tribulations have made them a closer faith community; more than 300 attended a Christmas service and a couple hundred are expected at Easter.

"Today gave us a lot of inspiration," said Shirley Anop. "I really hope we'll go down the same path."

At a gathering in the church's Kolbe Hall afterward, Henry "Hank" Tomkowicz, another vigil leader, thanked the "couple hundred" people who made it happen, the press that had followed the story, and Boyle, who had been instrumental in resolving the situation.

"You know some parishes were allowed one Mass a year ... we're not a parish but we'll have our Mass at 8 o'clock [every week]," said Tomkowicz.

St. Stan's will host morning Mass on Sundays and weddings and funerals. Four funerals have already been held in the church.

Boyle said the members of St. Stan's had done everything right, from their appeals to Rome to maintaining the church, and their prayers had been answered.

"You never discount the power of prayer, never."

Editor's Note: We started this blog three years ago to chronicle the fight to keep St. Stan's open. We hope that this will be our last post on the matter, and that St. Stanislaus' Church will continue to be a vital part of the community of Adams.


5 Comments
     
News Headlines
Adams Selectmen Review Potential Tax, Fee Hikes
Protect Your Online Data With These Tips
New Doctor Joins BMC's Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Team
BFAIR Sets Family Night Fun at Greylock Bowl
Free State, Federal Tax Prep For Incomes Under $53K
Waynick Leads Duda to Win to Cap Perfect Season
Plan to Remove Pittsfield's Mill Street Dam Moving Forward
Williams Team Breaks Record on Lego Star Destroyer Build
Clarksburg's Chapter 90 Boost Clears Way for Gates Ave Bridge
Morningside Principal Offered Pittsfield's Deputy Superintendent Job
 
Appeals Process
Parishes have some options to protest their closings.

Appeal to the bishop within 10 days of a decree of suppres-
sion or merger. He's got 30 days to get back to you - or not. 

 

 

 

If the answer is still no, the parish then has 10 days to appeal to the Congregation of Clergy in Rome. They could take years to respond and usually back the bishop.

All is not lost. The next step is to appeal to the Apostolic Signatory, the Vatican's "supreme court." It is headed by St. Louis' former Archbishop Raymond Burke, who leans conservative.
If the first appeal for a hearing fails, the last step is a plea to the full bench of the signatory. The process can cost thousands.
Stories

Bishop Hopes Closings Reinvigorate Parishes

Bosley Wants More Dialogue on Church Closings

Parishioners Seek Solution to Save St. Stan's

Parishioners Set Vigil to Save St. Stan's

St. Stan's Closes With
Tears and Defiance


St. Stan's Hopes for Strength in Numbers

St. Stan's Pins Prayers on Mediation Request

 

 

 

 



Categories:
Boston (3)
coverage (4)
diocese (9)
event (5)
parish (5)
related stories (2)
Rome (6)
update (12)
Archives:
Tags:
Council Of Churches New Orleans Marians Divine Mercy Deicision Decision Thanksgiving Hajdas Congregation Of Clergy Tomkowitz Closing Decision Borre Reopening Christmas Republican Opening Ruling Decree Time Appeal Appeals Anniversary Vigil Trabold Apostolic Signatura
Popular Entries:
St. Stan's Announces Church Is Saved
Diocese Releases Statement on St. Stan's Ruling
St. Stan Vigilers Hope Prayers Answered
Diocese, Vigilers Appeal Ruling on St. Stan's
First Western Hemisphere Divine Mercy Images Still at St. Stan's
St. Stanislaus Church To Reopen
Boston Setback Doesn't Shake Vigilers' Faith
St. Stanislaus Reopens For Palm Sunday Mass
St. Stan's Vigil to Mark Two Years
Diocese Says Vatican Upholds Closure of St. Stan's
Recent Entries:
St. Stanislaus Reopens For Palm Sunday Mass
St. Stanislaus Church To Reopen
Diocese Says Vatican Upholds Closure of St. Stan's
Diocese, Vigilers Appeal Ruling on St. Stan's
Diocese Releases Statement on St. Stan's Ruling
First Western Hemisphere Divine Mercy Images Still at St. Stan's
St. Stan Vigilers Hope Prayers Answered
St. Stan's Announces Church Is Saved
Pontiff Rejects Boston Parish Appeals
St. Stan's Vigil to Mark Two Years


View All
Hockey: Mt Everett vs...
The Wahconah hockey team defeated Mount Everett, 3-2,...
Berkshire County UCP Telethon
United Cerebral Palsy of Berkshire County held its 52nd and...
Girls BB: Athol vs Hoosac...
McKenzie Robinson dished out nine assists to help the...
Swimming: Wahconah vs St....
Liz Bernardy won the 100-yard freestyle and 200 individual...
Boys BB: Drury vs Hoosac...
Friday night basketball, Drury boys win over Hoosac Valley...
Girls BB: Lee vs Mount...
Barrett scored a game-high 27 points in Thursday's 57-44...
Boys BB: Smith Academy vs...
The Pittsfield boys' basketball team defeated Smitch...
North Adams Chamber @...
The North Adams Chamber of Commerce held its first...
Hockey: St Mary's vs Wahconah
The Wahconah hockey team defeated St. Mary's Wednesday...
Berkshire Chamber @GFCU
Berkshire Chamber of Commerce held its January networking...
Boys BB: Wahconah vs Drury
The Wahconah boys basketball team was able to pull away and...
Boys BB: Hoosac Valley vs...
Jerry McDonough scored 14 points and went 4-for-6 at the...
Girls BB: Wahconah vs Lenox
The Wahconah girls basketball team got back on track with a...
Girls BB: Hoosac Valley vs Mt...
Hoosac used 25 points and 11 rebounds from Emily Rosse to...
Co-ed XC Skiing
The Mount Greylock cross country ski team had the home...
Girls BB: Millbrook vs Miss...
Grace Guachione scored 19 of her 22 points in the first...
Hockey: Mt Everett vs...
The Wahconah hockey team defeated Mount Everett, 3-2,...
Berkshire County UCP Telethon
United Cerebral Palsy of Berkshire County held its 52nd and...
Girls BB: Athol vs Hoosac...
McKenzie Robinson dished out nine assists to help the...
Swimming: Wahconah vs St....
Liz Bernardy won the 100-yard freestyle and 200 individual...
Boys BB: Drury vs Hoosac...
Friday night basketball, Drury boys win over Hoosac Valley...
| Home | A & E | Business | Community News | Dining | Real Estate | Schools | Sports & Outdoors | Berkshires Weather | Weddings
Advertise | Recommend This Page | Help Contact Us | Privacy Policy| User Agreement
iBerkshires.com is owned and operated by: Boxcar Media 102 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247 -- T. 413-663-3384 F.413-664-4251
© 2000 Boxcar Media LLC - All rights reserved