r Letter From Eastie: October 2004
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Collaged view of Boston, from East Boston

Letter From Eastie

News and other items from East Boston, Massachusetts.

Thursday, October 21, 2004


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

East Boston High Student Tells Romney and GOP to Shove It.

Ok, Felipe Hernandez didn't really tell them to shove it (I'm sure he'll leave that to Theresa Heinz Kerry). He did, however, protest the GOP's trying to appeal to voters' worst instincts in their literature by attacking Dems for supporting the bill that would make it legal for the children of illegal aliens to receive in-state tuition at Mass. state schools, if they have lived in Mass. for at least 3 years and graduated high school. As usual the GOP conveniently forgets facts. Like, for example, the fact that the bill is not only supported by Dems, but also some Republicans. Hernandez said:
It's OK that you do not agree with the dreams of immigrant children, children who had no part in the decision to come to this country, but what is not OK is that you are using our situation to gain votes for your candidates. It is not only wrong, but immoral.''
Right on Felipe! 150 people attended the protest at the State House.

--Boston Herald

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

"I Wouldn't Fool Around With Something Like This"

The spirit of the revolution lives on at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. It almost makes me want to walk over there and join the sit-in. The problem is that if I actually cross that threshold some other statues might fall and there might be a slight chance of a lightning strike. Here is another take on the "Miracle Story" from the Weekly Dig.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Coincidence?. . .Probably.

The Boston papers must be enjoying this Mt. Carmel story, because it doesn't want to die. It seems the parishioners attending the last mass at the church claim that a miracle happened.
The church's statue of the Virgin Mary, which stood in front of the altar, tipped over suddenly and thudded to the floor after Mass, seemingly unmolested by human hands, parishioners said.

Trembling and weeping, they called it a sign from God protesting the Boston Archdiocese's decision to close their church, part of the lifeblood of the working-class, Italian-American neighborhood since 1905.

''This is a miracle!" Gerri Costa exclaimed after parishioners righted the 5-foot statue, which was missing a few pieces from its back. ''Miracles do happen, and this is a miracle. Viva La Madonna!"
Not to be sacriligious, but if that was a miracle, it was kind of a lame one. If God really was that upset about the closing of Mt. Carmel, wouldn't she have provided a few more fireworks--some fire or brimstone, or maybe turning the Archbishop into a pillar of salt?

Aside from the "miracle" the Mt. Carmel plot thickens. The archdiocese may be renegging on the convent trade deal--something about leaky pipes and repairs, etc.
''We can't trust any priest," Gerri Costa shouted outside the church. ''Archbishop O'Malley, I thought you came to heal! You are a disgrace. I will never go to another church that has to do with the Archdiocese of Boston."

''Where are all the old people going to go?" asked Josephine Costa, 87. ''I'm going to be a Protestant. I'm not going to be no more Catholic."
I say amen, sister. If the church ladies are talking like the this, the Catholic Church in Boston is doomed.

--Boston Globe

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Main Streets to Bring WiFi to Eastie?

The Boston Main Streets program is looking to bring wireless internet service to businesses in Eastie as well as other Boston neighborhoods as part of their efforts at revitalization. Will that mean I'll be doing my blogging directly from the streets of Eastie? I won't hold my breath.

[The Boston Main Streets Program is] trying to launch pilot WiFi service in six Main Streets districts: West Roxbury, Chinatown, Washington Gateway in the South End, south Centre Street in Jamaica Plain, East Boston, and Roslindale.

If things go according to plan, anyone coming into these districts could tap into the Internet for free using their specially equipped laptops, handheld computers, or other devices.

''It could be a dog kennel or it could be a hair salon, restaurants, coffee shops, parks -- places where people congregate," said Steve Gag, president of the Roslindale Village Main Street board of directors and an aide to Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
--Boston Globe

"It could be a dog kennel?" Do people congregate at dog kennels? Is this something new the kids are doing?

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Little Italian Ladies 1, Archdiocese 0

Ok. Maybe that's overstating it, but a midnight deal was struck to avoid the sit-in at Mt. Carmel Church. Sacred Heart agreed to give up one of their buildings (the old St. John the Baptist Church on Saratoga Street) and will receive the Mt. Carmel Convent in return. Thus providing a chapel for church services in Italian for the elderly of the former Mt. Carmel parish, a safe home for the Padre Pio statue, and a way for the Archodiocese to finagle itself out of a little bit more bad publicity. I'm kind of bummed, though, because I would have loved to see the Mt. Carmel ladies get all militant at their sit-in. I can just see them now wearing their Che Guevara berets singing "We Shall Not be Moved."

On a related note, I came across this web site where someone has made a survey of the history and architecture of Boston Catholic churches. Here is a link to the page on East Boston Churches (including pictures).

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Sit-In at Mt. Carmel.

Mr. Tauro and the parishioners at Mt. Carmel Church are refusing to give up their church and are planning a sit-in. I would like to see them get somewhere with the bishop, but I am not holding out much hope. My parents were married in this church, so I'll be sad to see it close. People are leaving the Catholic Church in droves. These people actually want to stay and they are being allienated. Well, at least it seems that the Boston Globe is on their side.
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