Wednesday, April 16, 2014 09:07am
North Adams, MA now: 27 °   
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's Vigil to Mark Two Years
By: Andy McKeever On: 11:26PM / Thursday December 23, 2010
Important
0
Interesting
0
Funny
0
Awesome
0
Infuriating
0
Ridiculous
0

 ADAMS, Mass. — The altar at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church is once again covered with a bevy of cheery red poinsettias. It's been a tradition over the years to turn the front of the sanctuary into an overflowing garden at Christmastime.

But as the Friends of St. Stan's enter their third year of protest over the historic church's closure, the setting out of the poinsettias has become a benchmark in a lengthening vigil.

Sunday will mark two years that vigilkeepers have been staying in the church in hopes of convincing the Vatican that the house of worship their grandparents and great-grandparents built a century ago will be around for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. There is no sign of an end to the vigil as the cold creeps back into the pews.

"It's still going strong and we're entering our third winter now," said Eugene Michalenko, one of the spokesman for the vigil effort, on Thursday. "We have heard nothing yet."

St. Stan's was ordered closed as part of a consolidation in the Springfield Diocese; the parish and that of Notre Dame and St. Thomas were to be joined up the street at Notre Dame, newly renamed as Pope John Paul the Great. The use of the first Polish pope's name didn't appease  some in the congregation, who immediately set up the vigil.

So for two years now, at least one person has been in the Polish church to keep the diocese from locking the doors. The vigilers will hold a small celebration and sing Christmas carols at 1 p.m. on the anniversary.

Volunteers are there round the clock, taking turns and even sleeping in the cold church. This year, a space heater warms a small room behind the altar to give the faithful some respite.

The group is waiting on a decision from the Vatican that could take years. Parishioners joined eight other churches in the state in appealing their closures to the Apostolic Signatory but that decision has been delayed multiple times. The Signatory is the last step in the appeals process.


Cold weather will not stop the St. Stan's vigil as it enters its third year. The church was closed by the Springfield Diocese on Dec. 30 two years ago.
The building is no longer a church in the eyes of the Springfield Diocese and Mass is not held there, but parishioners do still pray there.

If St. Stan's is empty, church officials will lock the doors and strip the interior of religious relics before it sells the building.

Vigilers fear their Polish heritage will be stripped along with icons and stained glass.

In Boston, vigils continue in a handful of churches; in other parts of the country, vigil attempts have been cut short by police action. The Friends of St. Stan's were concerned about that at first but an uneasy truce with the diocese has left both playing a waiting game.

The massive chandeliers, the painted ceiling and all the decorations and architecture has created one of the most beautiful churches in the county. Vigilkeepers say it's priceless and by staying in the building, the church will remain intact.

And so the annual tradition of decorating the altar still continues, but change is inevitable. Zepka J & Sons Florists used to bring thousands of flowers into the church every winter but this year it had to be scaled back, Michalenko said.

The 100-year-old florist closed this fall; owner Matthew Zepka, a longtime usher and Eucharistic minister at St. Stan's, died last December at the age of 89.

Thomas Zepka, his son, used his connections with wholesalers to bring in about 60 red poinsettias this year.

"Now people are buying them individually and bringing them in," Michalenko said. "It's not as big as it used to be. The alter used to be full."



9Comments
Tags: anniversary, Christmas      
News Headlines
Lanesborough Loses Lawsuit Over Laston Park Construction
Williamstown Board Rejects Housing Panel Developer Choice
Save NARH Campaign Looks to Drum Up Wider Support
North Adams Closes Beaver Street Over Mudslide Fears
2014 Alma Riello Scholarship Deadline May 9
Bunny Hop Race Will Support Homeless Shelter
NARH Advocates Bringing Petitions to Beacon Hill
Lanesborough Briefs: Carnival Returning To Mall
Treasurer's Salary Gives Adams Finance Committee Pause
North Adams Library Acquires 'Mill Girl'
 
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:
Christmas Decision Tomkowitz Council Of Churches Decision New Orleans Borre Congregation Of Clergy Marians Decree Opening Vigil Reopening Appeal Closing Anniversary Divine Mercy Time Deicision Thanksgiving Trabold Hajdas Ruling Republican Appeals 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. Stan's Vigil to Mark Two Years
Boston Setback Doesn't Shake Vigilers' Faith
St. Stanislaus Church To Reopen
Pontiff Rejects Boston Parish Appeals
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
Softball: Lee vs Hoosac
4-14-14 Kassandra Kazimierczak went 2-for-4 with a double...
Baseball: MG vs Hoosac
4-11-14 Dan Flynn's suicide squeeze with the bases loaded...
Softball: MG vs McCann
4-11-14 Mount Greylock and McCann Tech played an atypical...
Sullivan School CPR Class
Seventh-graders at Sullivan School in North Adams learned...
Lacrosse: Mounties vs. Hoosac
Mounties overwhelmed Hoosac Valley on Wednesday 14-1....
North Adams Furnace St. Fire
Firefighters contained a top floor apartment blaze on...
Berkshire Chamber Career Fair...
More than 50 employers connected with job seekers at...
Lacrosse: MG vs St. Joe
Mount Greylock boys lacrosse team won 17-4 St. Joseph at...
Softball: MG vs Drury
4-8-14 Mount Greylock softball claimed a 7-2 victory over...
Wahconah High School Musical...
Wahconah Regional High School is putting on the 1930...
Drury Coach Marceau Benefit
Friends and supporters filled the Eagles Hall on Friday...
Lenox High International Fair
Lenox Memorial Middle and High School students got to...
Slice of Life Pizza 2014
Moments House's annual Slice of Life fundraiser that pits...
North Adams Hospital Closes
Union members and supporters of North Adams Regional...
2014 Berkshire Awards
The Berkshire Awards ceremony was held on Friday night at...
Chamber Night At Moments...
The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce visited the new Moments...
Softball: Lee vs Hoosac
4-14-14 Kassandra Kazimierczak went 2-for-4 with a double...
Baseball: MG vs Hoosac
4-11-14 Dan Flynn's suicide squeeze with the bases loaded...
Softball: MG vs McCann
4-11-14 Mount Greylock and McCann Tech played an atypical...
Sullivan School CPR Class
Seventh-graders at Sullivan School in North Adams learned...
Lacrosse: Mounties vs. Hoosac
Mounties overwhelmed Hoosac Valley on Wednesday 14-1....
| 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