What might be the last regular Sunday mass at Saint Adalbert Basilica was held on Sunday, September 18, 2011 at the 125-years-strong East Side parish. Over 350 attended the 125th Anniversary celebration held afterwards. A typical Sunday mass brings well-over 100 parishioners. With these numbers, many out-of-town supporters and a well-kept religious campus that also provides some rental income, the Catholic Diocese's order to close the church makes little sense.
|The 125th Anniversary Mass. Photo by Broadway-Fillmore Alive.|
The artists of Painting for Preservation gathered at the Basilica in mid-September and were warmly welcomed by the many parishioners with live music, homemade baked goods and roast beef sandwiches. We had twenty artists, many newcomers, and were profiled in The Buffalo News in "Preserving memories of St. Adalbert's."
|Michelle Schroeder, art teacher,at the Art-In.|
Photo by Charles Lewis for The Buffalo News.
Leaders of Saint Adalbert Basilica parish have developed a strong and creative campaign to urge Bishop Kmiec to have a change of heart and allow the Church to remain as active as it already is. The parish regularly uses social media and has a young and active crowd; this is not a dead or dying church! We thank the parish for having us celebrate with them. Our being there only reinforced the parish's innovative commitment to their community.
With an abandoned church on what seems like every block, Painting for Preservation as artists and preservationists, fully support Saint Adalbert Basilica's cause. Having just hosted an Art-In at St. Mary's-on-the-Hill at Niagara and Vermont Streets, the ruins are an only too real a reminder how quickly a center of life in the community can fall literally fall apart.
Please show your support of the parish by writing to the Diocese in support of the church. Our letter to the Diocese of Buffalo in support of Saint Adalbert Basilica and, in general, a comment on the faiths abandonment of so many of its architecturally significant buildings:
September 14, 2011
Dear Bishop Kmiec,I write on behalf of Painting for Preservation to express our collective support of maintaining weekly masses at Saint Adalbert Basilica as a measure of sustaining a vital parish community and caring for a historic and recognized landmark Basilica.Painting for Preservation is an eclectic and inclusive group of artists that gathers at historic places to create artwork of all media with the building as the subject. Our goals include raising awareness of neglected historic places, supporting artists that are inspired by architecture and community, and starting a creative record of these places.We had the opportunity to gather at Saint Adalbert’s to caringly illustrate the architecture of the Basilica. Over 200 people attended the Mass that morning and nearly 25 artists took to the lawn, sidewalk and streets in pure admiration of the Basilica’s iconic towers. The reception by the parish was extremely hospitable and representational of the spirit the parish regularly shares with its members and larger community.Based on the Vatican’s decree for Saint Adalbert’s to remain open and our personal experiences of the vitality of the parish, we cannot in good conscience allow the Church to be closed without statement. Furthermore, closing vital and solvent parishes will not aid in the Diocese’s current fiscal crisis, nor should the historic buildings be abandoned.Sincerely,Meagan Baco, Co-OrganizerPainting for Preservation