Thursday, December 11, 2014

'ell-o, 'ell-o, or woof, woof,

Clicking on Fido, to your right, will get you to a more frequent site of postings, with all sorts of ancillary notices, and pictures. Facebook has problems, and annoyances; but it  is the social media organ of choice for most of the mass mobs. Ours is a fully public page, meaning you do not have to log in or sign up. Just keep clicking and scrolling. We have way too many postings for you to get through. Here on this page, there is not much more than a post a month. In control of format and layout, this page is superior, but less popular. This is the official page, and most of the posts announce the next mobbing. The next mobbing is 22 March at Saint Mary Collinwood 10 a.m.   We expect to be mobbing the fourth Sunday of the month during 2015. That would be the 22nd through the 28th. A parish may choose the Saturday vigil. Last year Cleveland mobbed ten churches, only one chose the Saturday option. The first four, at least, have decided for Sunday.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Cleveland Mass Mob XI — Saint Mary Collinwood

Cleveland Mass Mob  XI
Saint Mary of the Assumption (Collinwood)
10 a.m. Sunday 22 March 2015
15519 Holmes 
The first Cleveland Mass Mob of the new year will be south of the railroad tracks in the northeastern part of Cleveland, Collinwood. Collinwood, before 1910, was a separate municipality. Collinwood largely exists because Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway needed a flat spot between Toledo and Buffalo. Cornelius Vanderbilt bought the Lake Shore line in 1877, and it became part of New York Central. Collinwood Village in Euclid Township expanded from the railyard. To-day, the locomotive turntable and dormitories are gone, one can still see a coal tipple at the Saranac yard.

The first Catholic church in Collinwood was St. Joseph, which started as a mission from Saint Paul Euclid (suppressed in 2009). Originally, St. Joseph was on Aspinwall (near Saranac), later on St. Clair (1994 merged into St. Aloysius). Saint Mary was the first nationality church in Collinwood. Saint Mary is a Slovene parish, Marija Venobovzeta (Mary of the Assumption). 
Cleveland was the capital of the diaspora of more than one nation. Outside of their respective homelands (the old country), Cleveland was the largest Slovene, and the largest Magyar/Hungarian city in the world. Cleveland (the new country—America) had heavy immigration from east and central Europe before the First World War, and after the Second. Those that came early went to escape poverty, and many just changed the locale; those that came after had often just escaped death. Those generations are largely gone. Those that have recently come, have not generally had those hardships and many live in suburban Lake County, and not in easy walking distance.
1906 cornerstone
The first building was from 1906, and its cornerstone is by the Marian altar, often with flowers. The present church is from 1957 during the peak of the second migration. Now, Saint Mary's was built just before the Second Vatican Council, and was a modern church in Catholic style; but that style is not current fashion, and most whom prefer the ancient style of ecclesial design are pleased enough with Saint Mary's.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cleveland Mass Mob X — Saint John Cantius

Cleveland Mass Mob  X
Saint John Cantius
11.30 a.m. All Souls, Sunday 2 November
906 College

The first Mass Mob was held in Buffalo's Saint Adalbert's Basilica* on All Souls 2013. In a salute to the Buffalo Idea, we believe All Souls Day is a grrreat day for a Mass Mob.

The parish began in 1898, the present church came 1924 with some art deco elements. It is another parish church built in a Polish cathedral style. There were many built in the United States, some are still in use [some sadly have been destroyed, or are listed for destruction (and some people are fighting to save them)]. Cleveland has a few of them, this is the third such we are mobbing. The area it is in is now called Tremont (after the very near public grade school), the Poles called the area 'Kantowo' after the parish. This area of Cleveland may be the most densely concentrated in churches of any neighborhood in the United States.

*Basilica (correction, proofreading did not occur). Yes, this was the first Basilica in the United States. Basilica is a special honor and categorisation of a church building. The Buffalo Diocese has denied the status. The exalted status, means something to Rome, and therefore is taken away some authority from a local bishop's jurisdiction over that building, something that many bishops resist.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cleveland Mass Mob IX — Saint Stanislaus

Cleveland Mass Mob  IX 
Saint Stanislaus
11.30 a.m. Sunday 5 October
3649 East 65th Street

Thursday, September 11, 2014

mass mob 101

Q: Who is the Mob?
A: The People of God.

Q: Who is a member of the Mass Mob?
A: Anyone who attends the Mass Mob who would not have attended that Mass otherwise.

Q: Must mob members be Catholic?
A: No.

Q: Why do they mob?
A: To celebrate Mass, a celebration of Liturgy and Eucharist.

Q: What is their motivation?
A: They have a communal faith. When they gather, Jesus is in their midst.

Q: Where do they mob?
A: In a parish community of an historical, and beautiful church.

Q: When do they know to mob?
A: In Cleveland, from the announcement at the previous Mass Mob. In other places there has been voting in a selection process, or by announcements, over social media by mob organisers.

Q: Where did the Mass Mob begin?
A: Buffalo, New York.

Q: Where is the Mass Mob currently active?
A: Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, New York City, Pittsburgh.

Q: Why did the Mass Mob begin?
A: The faith and members of the faith have been discouraged, and beautiful places of their meeting have been less frequented, and have become endangered. The mob wants to enkindle enthusiasm in both the faith, and their places of community.

Q: What caused the discouragement?
A: Life is not a vacuum. Life is inter-related. There were factors from within, and from without.

Q: What were factors from within?
A: Scandals they were not prepared to deal with, and bad leadership.

Q: What were factors from without?
A: Those of the general society.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Holy Ghost Mob

We have a video [click]
and a radio spot [click]

Cleveland Mass Mob VIII — Holy Ghost


Holy Ghost Byzantine
3.30 p.m. Sunday 14 September
 Byzantine Catholic Cultural Center

Friday, August 15, 2014

Cleveland Mass Mob VIII — Holy Ghost

Cleveland Mass Mob  VIII 
Holy Ghost Byzantine
3.30 p.m. Sunday 14 September 
2420 West 14th Street

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

15th of August

Cleveland Mass Mob VII
St. Mary (Bedford)
7 p.m. Friday 15 August 2014

Friday the 15th of August is the Dormition and Assumption of Mary, the Mother of God.
Jacopo Torriti. Dormition of the Virgin. Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome. 1296.

Kontakion: Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos

The grave and death could not hold the Mother of God, who is sleepless in her intercessions and an unchanging hope in her meditations. For as the Mother of Life she was transferred to life by Him Who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Parma Byzantine Mass Mob

Parma Byzantine Mass Mob
Holy Spirit Byzantine Catholic
9.30 a.m. Sunday 3 August
5500 West 54th 

"Let us be attentive". There are twenty-two Eastern Catholic Churches in communion with Rome. Each is of equal dignity, validity, and licitness with the Roman-rite; only unfamiliarity (and ignorance) separates. There is a tendency to stay within the familiar. Often, people become familiar through family. We marry, and we have relatives. Some belong to other churches.

Here in Greater Cleveland, we have had since the late nineteenth century many nations living here together. Parma, perhaps especially, has several churches of both the Eastern Orthodox, and the Eastern Catholic. Fr. James Batcha, pastor of Holy Spirit Byzantine Parma was aware of Cleveland Mass Mob, and he, his parish, and we at Cleveland Mass Mob all invite you, and others to a Parma Byzantine Mass Mob as a complement to Cleveland Mass Mob. More correctly, the term is 'Divine Liturgy'; and that is why our description has from the beginning been, "...Mass, a celebration of Liturgy and Eucharist,". After Liturgy and Eucharist there will be coffee and pastry served to encourage conviviality.

Of course, the Sacrament (Mystery) of the Eucharist holds us together, but the reception is different. The Eucharist is of both Species combined, in the Byzantine-rite. For those who have received Communion in the Roman-rite only, this may be novel. First, one does not stick one's tongue out, it is more like the opening of a baby bird's mouth. The Host is in many pieces in the Chalice, and a Spoon (Cochlear) is used in flicking motion to distribute. Some people pull on a cloth, so that it is under their chins, similar to the function of a handled paten (in case there is a miss, or drop).

Musical instruments will not be present. The human voice is to produce music, and books are in the pews. And we will cross our selves more than Latin base ball players. Mosaics and painted icons are often present. An iconostasis (elaborate painted screen separating the altar from the rest of the church) is customary. May you all "live many blessed years".



Friday, July 25, 2014


I due capi del Mob Messa è andato a Santa Maria. Well, we went to case the church, to see if the pastor was in. We did not have recent photographs. The last time one of the capos had been there, he was threatened with arrest by Lennon's police [click], it was the day of the parish's eviction.

One of our duties is to gather information to warrant interest in others to join the mob for the Mass. We wanted new pictures. This church will be an exception to the churches we will journey to. It is a new building, with a post Vatican II floor plan, and architecture.

Some people really enjoy stained glass. This glass is dalle de verre (flagstones of glass), and it is mostly abstract. Sometimes a mosaic effect can be produced to show human figures roughly. It was not done here. So, it was even a bit harder to get satisfactory fotos.
 Pietà before abstract dalle de verre
Cleveland Mass Mob VII
St. Mary (Bedford)
7 p.m. Friday 15 August 2014

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cleveland Mass Mob VII — Saint Mary Bedford

Cleveland Mass Mob  VII 
Saint Mary (Bedford)
7 p.m. Friday 15 August  
300 Union

St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Bedford Ohio, began as a mission of Holy Name Newburgh to Hungarian farmers outside of town in 1905. The first resident pastor came in 1921.The present church is the fourth church building. Its first Mass was said on the parish's patroness' feast day 1969.

November 15, 2009 the parish was evicted; but previously an appeal was made to Rome. News came to eleven parishes on March 7, 2012, including St. Mary Bedford, that the appeal was successful because the closure was non-canonical and must be reversed. The hiatus ended with an Homecoming Mass on July 22, 2012; on the same day Saint Barbara, and Saint Patrick West Park had their Homecoming Masses.

Mass Mobs share something of the character of 'Scattered Seeds'. [click] Scattered Seeds are parishioners of St. Cecilia and Epiphany, whose churches were taken by episcopal fiat. For a year they met monthly to have Mass, and a community meal in a series of churches. Over the last two years the Scattered Seeds have found home at St. Mary Bedford.  Most parishes that were closed, had their communities broken, scattered, and not healed. Here in some measure these people had maintained themselves as a parish community.  Jesus and his apostles were the first vagabond and itinerant Christians. There is a long history of wandering together. 

Celebrate. Every parish that came out of the tomb, as did Lazarus, has a life to enjoy. Not every community has a magnificent building such as SS. Adalbert, Casimir, and James, or a more modest jewel box as St. Emeric, but each parish has its own chrism and personality. Locally, we have churches such as SS. Stephen, Theodosius, Stanislaus, Colman, Elizabeth, and others, that makes one's jaw drop when they are seen by the observant. As lovely as the sacred space may be, it is the human community of Christian believers that is the parish. And in the oft quoted words of Jesus, told to us by Matthew, it is only necessary to have two or three people and the parish is formed, and created by Jesus, they are to be perpetual. Ordinary people were driven to become activists to save them; and fought to have the unjust, and non-canonical evictions reversed. Cleveland made national, and international news because of the determined Faith and Perseverance of these Christians, some of whom, assembled their parishes to pray in the streets outside their churches that often had been built by the pennies, and sweat of their immigrant forebears. And the reversal of fortune did come. It is time to celebrate, again.

As we began, our raison d' être — "attract people to come for a Mass, a celebration of Liturgy and Eucharist, in a parish community of an historical, and beautiful church", the church is the meeting site, the purpose of that site "a celebration of Liturgy and Eucharist" is the true purpose; so the physical beauty of the edifice is secondary, and tastes always vary. Saint Peter Superior is now more spartan than in generations past, but the white washed gothic ribbing and vaulting is still magnificent, and the stained glass from Columbus is as fine as south German art glass. Saint Mary Bedford is modern, and although i am not a cheerleader for its form, that is no reason not to celebrate. Keep Massing and Mob On!

Friday, July 18, 2014

St. Michael's, tallest church in Cleveland

 View from Cleveland's east side (Pershing Avenue)
 recent lightning protection, Carnegie Library across the street
Driving along several of the main roads, freeways and bridges in Cleveland one notices the uneven twin spires of Saint Michael Archangel. As a landmark, outside the concrete, steel and glass knot of skyscrapers of downtown, the only competitor in recognisability is St. Theodosius's, but in the many number of vantage points, no — it is Saint Michael's.

The church was completed in 1892 in romantic, grand eloquent, high gothic, triumphal revival. The then buff, now black, sandstone exterior came from Berea. The soot patina, actually, is more impressive than the original hue. That soot is the mark of the combustion of the steel mills, and other factories, that had been the industrial engine of Cleveland.

Michael's was one of the two, magnificent, German, west side churches. It was, when built, the largest, costliest, and most significant church in the diocese. St. Stanislaus topped out, months earlier, with two identical steeples at 232 feet in 1891(they were destroyed by a tornado in 1907). Michael's to contrast was also at 232 feet, but had the two dissimilar towers. Not till 1924 was there a taller building in the city, and St. Michael's remains the tallest church.             
Inside, the church abounds in color. It now is a congregation of the Americas. As the pastor says, "it seats a thousand, 750 if women bring purses".

Cleveland's Mass Mob VI is coming to St. Michael the Archangel to add to the celebration of the parish's anniversary at 9.30 a.m. on Sunday July 20th.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Cleveland Mass Mob VI — Saint Michael

Cleveland Mass Mob  VI
  Saint Michael
9.30 a.m. Sunday 20 July
3114 Scranton Road

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Cleveland Mass Mob V — Saint Vitus

Cleveland Mass Mob V
Saint Vitus
4 p.m. Saturday 28 June 2014
6019 Lausche (Glass) Avenue

Come see the frescos by contemporary Slovene artists echoing El Greco, depicting the Catholic faith, and the suffering of the Slovene nation in the middle of the twentieth century. The first president of independent Slovenija (who had been the last leader of the Communists just prior), Milan Kučan*, saw the war mural, and abruptly left the building. Confronted with the truth, he left. The Slovenes are a small Slavonic nation. Cleveland is their largest settlement outside the homeland.
*Most Slavs are either Orthodox Catholics (of several national churches), or Roman (Latin Rite) Catholics, and some are Byzantine (Greek Rite) Catholics. A small number are Lutherans, or other Protestants. Slovenes are overwhelming from the Roman Catholic portion. Kučan was from a Lutheran family in the eastern most part of Slovenija.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Mass Mob, Quo Vadis?

 Cleveland Mass Mob I — Saint Casimir   23 March 2014  
Where does the movement stand?  It is still nascent.  The Buffalo model suggested an internet presence by social media, and also interaction by the regular media. Eleven locals announced, three never really started [by evidence from a distance], a couple do not give much to look at.

New York City will have their premiere on the first of June, and the original [Buffalo] will have number four. The most successful mobbings were Cleveland I, and then Buffalo III. Buffalo has had the best relationship with the internet, and the press.

The most positive and perceptive analysis of the mass mobs was by Clarissa Aljentera writing on Busted Halo. It really is good reading.

How will this be in a year? Will there be another wave of engaged locals? or less, and sputtering?

Well, Cleveland has seen three, and the fourth is on June 8th, Pentecost, the perfect day for a Mass Mob. Cleveland has five additional scheduled, and is planning to schedule more after Cleveland Mass Mob IV—Saint Colman. At first, winter was problematic (and may still be), and the thought was to be very light in scheduling, especially since Cleveland will be the national leader in mobbing this year; but a new member of the organising group is enthusiastic about winter dates. I think, there are a couple of surprises. I am really looking forward to #IV: early summer, in a big beautiful church, with a history of gathering for big events, and a much respected pastor, soon to be retired. Saint Colman has been a success story. A standing room crowd is not unexpected. There is seating for a thousand.
 Cleveland Mass Mob II — Saint Barbara  27 April 2014  Divine Mercy Sunday
The Mass began without electrical power.

 Cleveland Mass Mob III — Saint Adalbert  25 May 2014
It is also like we are having a tour of parishes. A friend wrote to me, "And a most important point about Mass Mobbing -- it is such a joyful experience. To see the variety of participate in the variety of liturgies, to see old friends, to make new ones....what better way to begin the week. St. Adalbert was such a happy mobbing.".

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Welcome to Cleveland's Irish Cathedral

March 17 2009

When i entered Saint Colman's church on Saint Patrick's Day 2009, a television cameraman behind me, said in surprise, 
this place looks better than the cathedral [John the Evangelist Cleveland]. And it does. It is the custom in Cleveland, that, on the morning of every March 17th there are well attended Masses at several Irish parishes in Cleveland. On that day, there were twenty priests there to distribute Communion. Colman's pews, now, sit only a thousand. The choir loft [balcony] has no seats, it was densely standing room; and it was standing room in the nave, the narthex, the steps, and the sidewalk. Now, some of the people outside were not interested in Mass. People come to these Patricio Masses, and many go downtown for the parade, which in recent years has an audience of 200 thousands, or double that in good weather. At Colman's, there is a party in the crypt level serving food after the parade.

These numbers and activities are not out of the ordinary. You must realise, people here really want to celebrate something. For years, when Municipal Stadium was standing, opening day of baseball sold out, and then much of the rest of the season had six thousand in attendance. Every football game was sold out. Ah, that old, ugly, and stinky stadium, which looked like London's old Wembley, attracted eighty thousand (80,000) people to it. Well this particular day was something out of the ordinary.

On March 14th the news came as a shock to all, Saint Colman was to be among over fifty parishes to be closed on order of the bishop. Before Mass began on the 17th there was an all out push to save Colman's. Petitions were distributed, signed, and collected. Political representatives were called in, and so on. The pastor of St. Colman's gave a fiery defense of his parish before Mass. It turned to be a colossally stupid bit of timing for the reaper's list to have been announced on the eve of the Ides of March, hours before St. Patrick's Day. A very hard, AND PUBLIC campaign was mounted by Saint Colman's, and Saint Ignatius of Antioch's parishes, which successfully changed the bishop's decisions. Three years later all the parishes' appeals the bishop refused, and who then later appealed to Rome, proved successful. In those eleven decrees, Rome, in the end, sided with the parishes.

Colman's and Ignatius' were spared the break of continuity the eleven parishes that were in hiatus suffered through. Their appeals, if presented to Rome, would have also have been adjudicated successfully. They were spared the waiting period because of their quick, aggressive, co-ordinated, and public appeals.

The parish is a community of believers in God. One important question is what is the basic Christian unit? the parish [which was chartered by Jesus]*?, or the diocese? The diocese was a Roman governmental administrative unit of subprovinces.
*“For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”— Matthew xviii. 20.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Cleveland Mass Mob IV — Saint Colman

on Pentecost Sunday 8 June 2014
 El Greco. Pentecost. c.1596-1600. Madrid.
And when the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place:  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,...  — Acts ii.

Cleveland Mass Mob IV
Saint Colman 
11 a.m. Sunday 8 June 2014
2027 West 65th Street

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Cleveland Mass Mob III — Saint Adalbert

We waited for the white puff of smoke, and....
Cleveland Mass Mob III will be at Saint Adalbert
Cleveland Mass Mob III — Saint Adalbert
2347 East 83rd Cleveland Ohio
11 a.m. Sunday 25 May 2014

Please share the next Cleveland Mass Mob on your journals, Facebook, Twitter, and especially your family and friends!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cleveland Mass Mob II — Saint Barbara

  (Divine Mercy Sunday — the Octave of Easter)

This is a special day for the Universal Church. Divine Mercy (of Jesus) Sunday is a new holiday in the church that is the first Sunday after Resurrection Sunday. This particular Divine Mercy Sunday will see the canonisation of two much beloved saints, former popes, John XXIII and John Paul II.

Saint Barbara Cleveland, on Denison Road bordering Jennings Freeway (Interstate I-176), is celebrating. Musicians are coming from Columbus. Barbara's has been a Polish nationality parish, and this Mass will be bi-lingual. Don't worry, the order of the Mass is the same, and one can pray to God in his own language, while one's neighbour does his own.

Now, although it is a pretty church, it is of a modest size. It has pews for six hundreds. So it is possible for making it standing room only, with folding chairs in the center pathway as was the scene at their Homecoming Mass [clicky here, here too]. Yes, this was one of the parishes that had their appeal of suppression upheld, and Rome ordered to be open forthwith.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Cleveland Mass Mob I — Saint Casimir

Old and Historic Saint Casimir’s, by Rockefeller Park, is the destination for Cleveland’s Mass Mob One. The regularly scheduled 11.30 Sunday Mass on March 23rd will have a few more than the regulars. On the same date, there are to be other Mass Mobs in Philadelphia and Buffalo.

In an attempt to increase awareness of, and attendance at, grand old parish churches a continuing series of mobs came to be formed. A group of Catholic church enthusiasts wanted more people to experience, and re-experience, the beauty of Catholic community and parish life. They appropriated the idea of a ‘flash mob’, and created the Catholic Mass Mob. Its first child is the Buffalo Mass Mob. After the Associated Press wrote about the Second Buffalo Mass Mob, the rest of America began learning about it. Immediately, people from other metropolitan areas wanted a Mass Mob for their gothams and burgs. After Buffalo, there first came Rochester, and then rapidly: Cleveland, New Orleans, Columbus, Wilmington, Covington, New York City, and Philadelphia.

In the different cities, different organisers have different goals. In some, such as Buffalo and Cleveland, the intent is appreciation of the aesthetic and the spiritual in these churches — a celebration in sacred space. Both of these cities have had Vatican intervention to keep churches open. The prime case is the Basilica [first in the USA] of St. Adalbert in Buffalo. For the second and third Buffalo Mobs, an internet vote determined the church to be mobbed.

The Cleveland Mass Mob wishes “to attract people to come for a Mass, a celebration of Liturgy and Eucharist, in a parish community of an historical, and beautiful church”. The initial field of candidates for future Cleveland Mass Mobs will be selected from the eleven Lazarus parishes that had Masses of Homecoming in 2012 after ‘the hiatus’.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Cleveland Mass Mob 'Memes'

What i would call internet posters, or pictures overlayed with words, are called 'memes' i am told. Perhaps, there is some co-ordination developing in the Buffalo idea. The co-ordinator from New York City, sent me an address of a 'meme generator'. These are the first two. I was going through fotos of mine, and i saw a cardinal finch, and said "OK, i will use him".  Then, i thought, i need a foto of Francis with people at Saint Peter's, and found one.

And i also went through other fotos and tried to continue the theme.

This is on Superior Avenue, Cleveland Ohio. 4 April 2010, Paschal Sunday. It was after the last Mass before the bishop took possession of the campus. No one was willing to attend a Mass of Eviction scheduled for 11 April, so everyone left. The next Mass in that building took place after the Vatican decree. The Homecoming Mass was on 9 September 2012.

 "Open the doors so that the people of God may worship the God of heaven and earth."

These words were recited three times in English and Polish by Fr. Joseph Hilinski on the 22nd of July 2012, the day of the Homecoming Mass of Saint Barbara's Cleveland Ohio.

 To-morrow is Sunday, we have to go to Mass somewhere.

Now, since i did not have a penguin foto, this was available as a 'blank template' on the generator site. I was going to use one of a flock of birds, which i had taken; but people enjoy penguins. Smile, and wave. Smile, and wave. And our seventh poster ties a few of the themes together.