Holy Trinity

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I figured that January 6, Epiphany, would be the last day to see Christmas decorations in a church. I returned to Holy Trinity Polish Mission, another church built in the late 19th Century. I’d been blown away with its art and architecture.

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Nativity Scene

Once a local parish, Holy Trinity is now a mission for Polish Catholics in Chicago. The mass I attended was 100% in Polish so I marveled at the sacred art as scripture was read and the homily given.

The mass I attended had about 300 people in attendance, which is unexpected in an era when so many churches are half empty. I think the Polish are still quite serious about religion.

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I learned that Poland celebrated its independence in 1918.

I love to see how people keep their culture alive generation after generation. Holy Trinity has a grade school and high school.

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St Hedwig Church

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My parents’ visit to St. John Cantius in the fall inspired me to seek out the most splendid churches in Chicago. I found a useful article  to help me form a list. My first church was St. John Cantius where I attended my first Latin mass.

Figuring the Christmas decorations would still be up, today I went to St. Hedwig in the Bucktown neighborhood.

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The church stuns with its beauty as you first enter. Lots of gold and gorgeous polished wood. Ceilings were painted with biblical stories just as they are in Europe.

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St. Hedwig’s Nativity scene 

The three Wise Men are due to appear on Epiphany, January 6th.

You can read the St. Hedwig parish history here.

Sunday masses are at:

8:00 am in English
9:30 am in Polish
11:00 am in English
1:00pm in Spanish

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On Forgiveness

Below is a fascinating podcast on forgiveness. It’s part of the Feminist Catholic Podcast series and features Rosario Rodriguez, who experienced two assaults and had to learn what forgiveness really is.

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Not sure why the player won’t show up though it does show up in the Visual mode. If you click the HTML above, you can listen.

Sorry that WordPress won’t make it look nicer. They could if they wanted to.

The Jewish Cardinal

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What an absorbing — and true story!

I happened upon The Jewish Cardinal (a.k.a. Le métis de Dieu) at my library and am so glad I did. It’s the story of Jean-Marie Aaron Lustiger, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants who converted to Catholicism as a boy during WWII. His mother was killed at Auschwitz and though his father isn’t religious, he’s hurt by his son’s conversion and later decision to become a priest.

As the movie starts, Pope John Paul II soon makes Lustiger a bishop and soon a cardinal. Lustiger is real, someone whom people can relate to. He shakes things up and causes turbulence but eventually people see he’s right. For example, early on he sees that the church needs to reach people via mass communication and he starts an archdiocese radio station which he himself broadcasts from.

He also doesn’t like when his Jewish origins are written about as a gimmick or when he’s asked by a high ranking rabbi to deny his Jewish identity.

He often meets with John Paul II in the ’80s when the pope is fairly new. They understand each other and he earns the pope’s respect.

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When it’s learned that Carmelite nuns have made a convent in Auschwitz, Lustiger becomes something of a mediator and possible pawn in a conflict that’s both political and religious. He’s savvy enough to broker a fair resolution, but gets betrayed.

The acting is stellar with Lustiger (played by Laurent Lucas) and the actother cast members turning in bold, believable performances. The actor who played JPII carried off the role with great credibility. (He’s not perfect.) The film’s never hokey or preachy, just real and compelling. I’m so glad the intriguing name called to me.

Travel Theme: Arches

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Each week Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack? challenges bloggers with a creative prompt. Last  week we were suppose to post photos inspired by “Arches.” It’s too good to ignore so I found some lovely arches in China, New Mexico, and Thailand.

What arches have you seen? If you want to join the fun, follow these steps:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Arches
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS!

Check out Where’s My Backpack for more photos interpreting “Arches.”