or mosque would now be used as an eatery and brewery. Sadly, the City of
has determined that my closed church -- St. Gregory's Byzantine Catholic
now be used by developers for just that purpose.
When I first heard this notion, I wasted no time in writing my
Lakewood as well as writing a letter to the Sun Post -- our suburban
my feelings on the subject. Here is what I wrote:
To the Editor:
I am appalled that a place which so many of us have used for sacred
being considered for an eatery and brewery. Those officials who think it
is a great
idea should consider if it were the church where their parents were married
buried from- if this would be all right. They should also consider that
this was the
place where they and their siblings were baptized, confirmed, received
Holy Communion and some were married in this sacred place. Would
it into an eatery and brewery be all right?
Not for this former parishioner. I believe it should be designated as an
building in a historical place -- Bird Town. I am disappointed in the
for letting us down and they didn't even consider using the church as a
having liturgy at least once a month for those of us who were still
supporting the church as best we could.
For so many years the faithful kept up the parish- working weekly at
the Bishop and priests needed us, we were there. Now when we needed them,
abandoned us. Will the City do the same?
(No response from Councilperson Madigan who represents our district).
A LITTLE HISTORY OF BIRDTOWN
This small 7-street tract took shape in the early 20th century when people
eastern Europe -- principally Slovaks emigrated to Ohio from which was then
part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Some settled on the outskirts of
in the suburb of Lakewood. Many of them would find employment in the then
National Carbon Company which bought this tract of land so that their
could build their homes close by.
It was called "Birdtown" because most of the streets were named after
Lark, Plover, Thrush, and Quail. (The other street names were Halsted and
I was born on Robin and our Byzantine Catholic Church was built on Quail,
customary with Byzantine churches, the altar would face the East.
Such a tiny little tract- but I was so pleased that it was designated as a
place during the tenure of Mayor Madeline Cain who was mayor from 1996 to
I wish that she were still mayor today. I feel sure she would in no way
plans to convert St. Gregory's into an eatery and brewery. In my opinion,
bode well for the historical designation of Birdtown either.
This business venture reminds me of when Jesus chased out the money
animal trafficers in the temple. Would He approve of making this sacred
he was reserved sacramentally in the tabernacle on the altar for over 100
Gregory's opened its doors on July 30, 1906.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Even though there were over 200 signatures opposing this plan, the Mayor
Council ignored the wishes of the people of Birdtown and people like me and
its approval to the plan.
Someone said we should demonstrate. I wish I had that gift in me. Barring
I wish that someone else may look for support and rally us around this
While I do not know how to organize a demonstration, I certainly would
participate in one.
In the meantime, I have two letters to write -- one to the Byzantine
in Pittsburgh and one to the Holy Father. Right -- a lot of good that will
surprisingly, one enterprising lady in the Cleveland area who objected to
of her church by Bishop Leonard a couple years back -wrote the Holy Father
believe was Benedict XVI at the time, and he reversed Bishop Leonard's
I don't know how her letter managed to be read because I am
sure he gets a huge
number of them every day. It is a mystery to me. However, all I can do is
try and pray.
I will always regret if I hadn't tried. Sadly, there are too many people
who do nothing.