Wednesday, October 01, 2014 02:20pm
North Adams, MA now: 61 °   
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. Stan Vigilers Hope Prayers Answered
By: Tammy Daniels On: 07:41PM / Tuesday February 15, 2011
Important
0
Interesting
0
Funny
0
Awesome
0
Infuriating
0
Ridiculous
0
Saturday marked the 1,150th day of the vigil. A new sign on the door advises the 'the Vigil is canceled as of 5 PM Saturday, February 18, 2012.

Even as parishioners celebrate news that the church may reopen, a bulletin board reminds them that the vigil is not over.

Laurie Haas reads the letter sent to the bishop along with the decree.

ADAMS, Mass. — St. Stanislaus Kostka Church is part of an "historic moment" in receiving one of several  decrees from the Vatican so far that seem to open new avenues for closed churches.

Parishioners who have mounted a round-the-clock vigil were jubilant over the decision that rejected the Springfield Diocese's reasoning for closing the 100-year-old Polish place of worship. This, they say, means the church must be reopened as "a Catholic place of worship."

"This is a historic moment in the Catholic Church," said spokeswoman Laurie Haas after reading the letters sent to the diocese and the media and an English translation of the ruling from the Congregation of Clergy to the some 70-odd supporters seated in the pews. "We understand that a decree such as ours has only been issued in two other dioceses in the United States."

(Update: Similar decrees were sent to dioceses in Pennsylvania and Buffalo, N.Y., as well as to two other churches in the Springfield Diocese St. George's and St. Patrick's, both in Chicopee.)

The ruling does not spell out what role the church may play in the parish — or whether the diocese can offer a better rationale to close it. "It's up to the bishop what happens next," said Haas.

"Depending on what occurs during this critical time will determine whether we go on to the next level to the Apostolic Signatura, the supreme court, which would perpetuate the whole matter," she continued. "I would hope to God the bishop does not want to do that."

Mark Dupont, spokesman for the Diocese of Springfield, said diocesan officials were reviewing the decree and had no comment at this time.

Francis Hajdas of the Friends of St. Stanislaus said the two-year vigil will continue.

"This is just a temporary thing until we get the official word," Hajdas warned the audience. "Come here at the usual time you signed up for. We'll let you know when it's all over."

The Friends have been leading a vigil that now numbers 200 participants to prevent the diocese from locking the doors and stripping the sacred relics from the Gothic church. They appealed the decision to merge the parish with nearby Notre Dame and St. Thomas and close St. Stan's, saying the Polish church was fiscally, physically and historically more suited as the parish church.

The Vatican decree, dated Jan. 25, reviews two separate issues: the suppression of the parish and its merger as the Parish of Pope John Paul the Great and the actual closing of the parish building as a house of worship.

The Rev. Seraphim Michalenko of the Marian Helpers led a prayer. For more information on the significant links between St. Stan's and the Marians, there is an excellent article here.

The Congregation of Clergy upholds Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell's suppression of the parish in 2008 as part of broad consolidation of numerous parishes throughout the Western Mass. diocese.

It found some technical problems with the closing (still rejecting the appeal de procedendo, or on procedure). But, more importantly, upheld the appeal on the facts (de decernendo) that the "grave motivations" for the closing were not provided.

Haas said the group and its canonical legal advisers believe this means the church should be reopened as a place of worship in some form.

Henry "Hank " Tomkowicz described the ruling as "80 percent" good because of the ambiguity of the language, the rejection of the parish appeal and the uncertainty of the bishop's response. "Hopefully, he's with us."

The Friends hope to have dialogue with the bishop on how the church can be used. While they would prefer once again attaining the status as a parish, Haas said they would be open for use as a shrine, "if it was a shrine that wasn't 6 a.m. Mass on a Monday morning, yeah, probably."

It was important, she said, that the legacy of the church continues. The working-class Polish immigrants who laid the cornerstone and their descendants have poured money and prayer into the building, which boasts such unique features as a stained-glass window with Lenin and being the first in the Western Hemisphere to have an image of The Divine Mercy enshrined within it.

It was fitting then, that the Rev. Seraphim Michaelanko of Adams, director of the Association of Marian Helpers in Stockbridge and an expert on The Divine Mercy, arrived to lead the parishioners in prayer.

But even as they prayed, and chanted "A hundred more years" in Polish, the vigilers were prepared to stick it out to the end.

"They're ready to go on for five more years if they had to because they love this church and some things are worth fighting for," said Haas.

Vatican Decision on St. Stan's



Tags: decree, deicision      
News Headlines
Does Your Plan Need A Makeover?
Girl Scouts to Host 'Geek Is Glam' STEM Expo
Williamstown Elementary Clothing Sale Benefits Classrooms
North Adams Happenings: Oct. 1-7
Edward Jones Announces New Financial Adviser for Pittsfield
Bank Employees Raise $13,000 for Alzheimer’s Association
Lisa Cunningham Joins True North Financial
4-H Club Leader Needed in Williamstown Area
Williamstown Public Safety Committee Opts to Study Former Bank, Grand Union
North Adams Committee Hears Update on Infrastructure
 
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:
Closing Thanksgiving Anniversary Appeal Ruling Divine Mercy Hajdas Apostolic Signatura Reopening Time Appeals Vigil Congregation Of Clergy Opening Christmas Republican Trabold Decision New Orleans Tomkowitz Council Of Churches Deicision Decision Decree Marians Borre
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. Stan's Vigil to Mark Two Years
Diocese Says Vatican Upholds Closure of St. Stan's
St. Stanislaus Reopens For Palm Sunday Mass
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
Soccer: Lenox vs Mount...
Dan Flynn scored both his goals after half-time to lead...
Girls Soccer: Wahconah vs...
Monday afternoon girls soccer game between Wahconah and...
Golf: Drury vs Pittsfield
Nick Boulger carded a 40 to lead the Drury High School golf...
Bike Night 2014
Motorcycles packed into the Visitor Center parking lot...
Girls Soccer: Pittsfield vs...
Trinity Cookis tallied three of Pittsfield’s seven goals...
Soccer: PHS vs Taconic
Pittsfield boys, top Taconic 5-0
Football: Smith Voc vs McCann...
McCann over Smith Voc. 53-0.
Soccer: St. Joe's vs Taconic
St. Joe 1, Taconic 1: 1st half: Tac - Ryan Abel (Colin...
McCann Tech Golf
The McCann Tech golf team dropped a 19-5 decision to...
Girls Soccer: Hoosac vs Mt....
Rand made two of her six saves in the last six minutes, and...
Berkshire Works Career Fair...
The annual Berkshire Works Career Fair connected hundreds...
Soccer: Mount Everett vs...
Bradley Lupiani scored twice to lead the Mount Everett boys...
Cross Country at Wahconah
Boys:Wahconah beat Hoosac Valley 28-31; Lenox beat Hoosac...
Soccer: Commerce vs McCann
McCann Tech's Fuller Closing in on Hundredth Point. Nico...
UCP Annual Meeting 2014
United Cerebral Palsy of Berkshire County dedicated its...
Volleyball: St. Joe s vs...
Saint Joseph's 18 13 13 0 Wahconah 25 25 25 3
Soccer: Lenox vs Mount...
Dan Flynn scored both his goals after half-time to lead...
Girls Soccer: Wahconah vs...
Monday afternoon girls soccer game between Wahconah and...
Golf: Drury vs Pittsfield
Nick Boulger carded a 40 to lead the Drury High School golf...
Bike Night 2014
Motorcycles packed into the Visitor Center parking lot...
Girls Soccer: Pittsfield vs...
Trinity Cookis tallied three of Pittsfield’s seven goals...
| 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