Maybe it’s an improbable dream, but it would have been great if Senator Bernie (his last name is so formal) had put in a good word to Pope Francis about reopening Our Lady of Peace church. Its members have worked so long and hard to make it self-supporting for the next 10 years, and the pews were remarkably well-filled. Members have petitioned the Vatican for its reopening with all this information and according to church law.
And just maybe, Senator Bernie (and other wannabees) need informing or/and reminding how churches and synagogues serve the city, the nation, at large. I think, especially of 12 Step meetings often held there because these programs do such incalculable good, preventing booze-fueled violence, above all, including the drunk driving kind. These meetings potentially enable so much else which leads to a safe, healthy and even a solvent society.
Faith groups provide other support systems, too, especially but not only in the congregation, and in a society growing more impersonal, people Senator Bernie’s age and older often need them the most. New York had many more houses of worship when Senator Bernie lived here.
Again, a reminder of how Our Lady of Peace members have faithfully held services at 6 p.m. outside their church on East 62nd Street between Second and Third. And the church’s 97th anniversary was observed there the same day as the Democrat debates were held in New York. And the next day Senator Bernie was off to the Vatican. I might add that the East Sixties Neighborhood Association has long been concerned and sent letters of support to Cardinal Dolan and the Vatican.
So Senator Bernie and even Pope Francis may need reminding how we can’t afford to lose any more churches or synagogues, or for that matter, any more affordable neighborhood stores and eateries. Why even supermarkets like Gristedes are being replaced by luxury residential towers. Now, isn’t that a kind of immoral economy both Pope Francis and Senator Bernie so strongly deplore?
And about that earlier noted safe and stable community, it so depends on those who put their lives on the line to ensure it, especially in high crime areas, But still they’re called racist and brutal. If ever there were an injustice, it’s how ignored and untold is the enormous overall good the great majority of police officers do, often at their peril, too often at their sacrifice. Too little considered is how police officers contend with the worst elements of the human condition. They also deal with the very grim and tragic all too frequent traffic tragedy scenes.
And that reminds me that only through a Governor Kasich campaign ad did I learn that both his parents were killed by a car driven by a drunk driver. But why, or why, are these so preventable terrible deaths not widely remembered and publicly decried and denounced? Ah, and whatever happened to the 2007 Vatican decree against road rage and all manner of traffic crimes? Yes, there was such a right-to-life movement, Virginia.
And doesn’t all this somehow relate to the Passover Festival which begins Friday, April 22 at sundown? A time to be grateful for the deliverance we have from so many evils, for those who provide that protection, and, of course, for faith groups which also benefit the community-at-large in so many “love thy neighbor” ways. And here’s to leaders with the vision to see what makes a just and caring society, and the know-how to bring it about. It’s up to you and me, too. It’s up to you and me, too.