I received this message two days ago, from a New York City parish just a few blocks from my office that is slated to close.
I was impressed by the fervor and prayerfulness surrounding events the people in the pews are planning for their church. I think it speaks to the sense of dedication and devotion people have brought to this effort, and shows as well the deep affection they have for this lovely little church.
The parishioners of Our Lady of Peace have mounted a spirited resistance against the Archdiocese of New York’s decision to merge and close their Upper East Side spiritual home.
But since the Archdiocese of New York will close the church at the end of this week, the parishioners will hold a Last Supper and All-Night Vigil starting Thursday, July 30 at 7:00 p.m. through the last scheduled mass at 12:10 p.m. on Friday, July 31, until the church is closed and while they wait for a stay of the merger proceedings and the resolution of their Vatican appeal.
“The Vigil will be an extraordinary event for parishioners, friends, and supporters to spend a full night of communication and worship, petitioning for public and private needs, including saving Our Lady of Peace Church,” explained Tami Ellen McLaughlin, chair of the Special Occasions Team.The all-night vigil, a tradition spanning more than 40 years, will include a rosary procession starting at 7:15 p.m. through the neighborhood, a Solemn Mass at 8:00 p.m. accompanied by the Patriot Brass Ensemble, followed by the candle lighting of the steps and sidewalks outside the church at 9:00 p.m. Other religious traditions will follow throughout the night including the Stations of the Cross, Litanies, confessions, the anointing of the sick – the full panoply of a Holy Week in the Roman Catholic Church. Father Bartholomew Daly, pastor of the church will celebrate the last masses with other priests.
At 11:30 p.m., Rev. Father Christopher Salvatore and servers and choir from the Church of the Holy Innocents will offer the High Mass sung in Latin, Missa Salve, Santa Perens.
And please remember the faithful from this parish in your prayers.
Photos via Our Lady of Peace Facebook page