Our Lady of Peace.
Another prime target of “Making all Things New” is Our Lady of Peace. It was originally an Italian ethnic parish – a former protestant church that became one of the most extravagantly decorated Catholic sanctuaries in the city. It gradually grew into a “regular” if small parish of the Archdiocese in an area that had become very affluent indeed. But all the art in this church was created in the Italian, pre-Conciliar days.
Like several other small parishes in well-to-do areas( St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. John the Martyr and – unsuccessfully for the time being – St. Thomas More) the closing of this parish undoubtedly appeared as a real opportunity to the Archdiocese! Needless to say the parishioners of Our Lady of Peace did not at all agree with his action which erases their small but successful parish. The resistance has been spirited. Like the parishioners of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, they have lodged an appeal with Vatican; the Archdiocese has curtly informed them that this will not delay the scheduled closing on August 1.
(Above and Below) Unfortunately the sanctuary has suffered severe damage in the wake of the Council. But much of the originally elaborate furnishings survives – like the ornate communion rail.
(Above) For a small church there are a multiplicity of devotions. (Below) Our Lady of Fatima
(Above) Santa Fara – a local Sicilian favorite – in her glass case.
(Above) A recent mass. In this austere but dignified liturgy the topic of the imminent closing was not mentioned. But all the more vehement were the reactions and discussions of the parishioners after the mass! Needless to say no one was arguing for the Archdiocesan plan.