Friday, April 10, 2009

Photo Phriday - Seven Churches

It is a tradition to visit seven churches on Good Friday. I'm not sure if it's a Polish tradition, Polish-American Tradition, or just a family tradition, but it's a tradition to me. When I was young my parents would take me, Aunt Bert, and sometimes a friend of mine, and we'd go to visit 7 churches in Buffalo culminating in a trip to the Broadway Market, then food (no meat, of course) at my grandparents. I remember "the Blue Church" which was across the street from the gorgeous Polish National Roman Catholic Church. I called it that as it was painted sky blue on the inside. I remember playing with a dog in the parking lot of one rectory, then washing my hands in the holy water font. (God wouldn't mind-he's a dog person, er god.) Times have changed. Churches are closing all over Buffalo, and all over the country for that matter. In Buffalo, the neighborhood where most of these churches were changed into a very bad part of town. The Polish National moved to Lancaster and the church I loved became a mosque. But I decided today that I'd try to visit 7 churches. I wouldn't go into Rochester, but I'd go to 7 churches around me. I also did not limit myself to Roman Catholic churches. First stop: St. Christopher's Catholic Church-locked. St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church-locked. Union Congregational United Church of Christ-locked. United Methodist Church of Churchville-locked. Keep in mind, today is Good Friday. As I was driving, I remembered the Italian-American Community center, they had recently built a chapel. Off I went to St. Padre Pio Chapel. I saw cars. Yea, I finally made it into a church...well, chapel. There were several people inside, too. I knelt, said a prayer, and lit a candle. I then went to The Church of the Holy Ghost. It too was open, I was on a roll. The picture is of this church. Although I had one more church to find, I made a stop. Not the Broadway Market, but Wegmans...and the liquor store. On the way home I hit my final church, which was also open, the United Methodist Church of Ogden. I said a prayer in the chapel and as I was leaving saw a sign for the Stations of the Cross. This was a bit different, you had to follow purple crosses taped to the floor to follow the route through their community center. Each stop had a poster board display about that station. I went on, not doing the traditional way, but stopping to read each board. Until I got to the 11th station-where Christ was nailed to the cross. In addition to the poster board, they had an actual large wooden cross on a table, with paper, pens, nails and a hammer. You could write something to Jesus, then nail it to the cross. It was actually quite moving. I finished the stations and came home. Seven Churches, three open.

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