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✝️Bishop McManus and the Nativity School🙏… Worcester County’s hot🔥 housing market 🏡 and more …

Bishop McManus and the Nativity School

By Rosalie Tirella

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Jesus on the cross at the long gone Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. photo submitted

The Diocese of Worcester’s Bishop Robert McManus is in a pissing contest with the Nativity School in Worcester. The good Catholic Bishop is threatening to strip the good Catholic school (that mostly serves poor Black Worcester boys) of its Catholic status ASAP – which would stop it from performing holy mass or even sponsoring masses! This comes after the good, equally anal and vindicative Catholic Jesuit college, Holy Cross, banned, as punishment for the good Bishop’s petty actions against the Nativity School, Bishop McManus from this May’s graduation ceremony at Holy Cross. Where the good Bishop has – for years – proudly sat up on the Holy Cross dias dressed in all his fancy bishop vestments blessing and smiling beatifically on all the Holy Cross grads striding across the HC stage – filled with local, state and national dignitaries – to grab their diplomas. This after the good and holy Nativity School dug its heels in and refused to remove the BLM and gay pride flags flying outside the Nativity School (the old Lincoln House Girls Club on Lincoln Street).

This is why so many have fled and continue to flee the Catholic church.

It usually has nothing to do with Catholic gospel, the church music, God or Blessed Mary or Jesus and his beautiful THE FIRST SHALL BE LAST AND THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST teachings. No, it’s often a result of the holier than thou, unforgiving style of self-righteous, unforgiving and proud bishops, priests, nuns, etc. The brass of the Catholic Church. The elementary school nuns who slapped the palm of your hand with a ruler if they thought you were “bad.” The priests who forbad your sweet, single, working mom from receiving Holy Communion because she was legally separated from your abusive, cheater, loser father – her husband. The Catholic kings and queens who often lorded it over the parish poor and dispossessed. For the misguided power play. The thrill of winning. Being RIGHT.

What does Jesus have to do with all this abusive, nasty crap? If Jesus were still preaching on earth, let’s say in Worcester, what would He say to all these Catholic knuckle-heads? The Bishop and Holy Cross poo-bas and even the Nativity School principal and board of directors?

What would Jesus think of this mess? All done in his name … all done in the name of the Catholic faith and being a “good” Catholic.

Bishop McManus is an old guy. My pal has to drive him to the furniture store to pick out a new mattress! The Bishop thinks BLM is radical! He’s just being an old out of touch guy. And you know the Catholic church’s stance on gay marriage etc. And Holy Cross SHOULD know better, but decided to hurt a clueless old man, the Bishop. The Nativity School is in the right but too cool and progressive for the old fart Bishop.

Maybe the Bishop and Nativity School principal should sit down together – at the Holy Cross student union cafe – and talk. Break bread. Make peace. Compromise.

This “unholy” mess brings all local Catholics down!

🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

Housing, Joe Petty, homelessness, rent control…

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Worcester’s affordable housing crisis has created Worcester’s homelessness problem. photo: R.T.

1. Based on the nepotism and pointlessness of Mayor Joseph Petty’s office – we’re talking office director Mary Orosko who doesn’t know how to email an attachment and never returns phone calls – and Petty political office head Dan Raiscot – who never returns phone calls either – why should I vote to send Joe Petty to Boston next election cycle? Why should he replace retired Harley Chandler? I’m voting for his opponent, the gal from the YWCA. She’s young, politically experienced and savvy and will (hopefully) advocate for women and girls once elected …

2. The landlord of the apartment I had my eyes on IN DUDLEY/WEBSTER! has raised the rent by $300 per month since last week!!! WHEN I FIRST SAW THE APT LISTING! For no reason whatsoever!! No special work was done on the crappy studio apartment! No add-ons added!! The unscrupulous landlord did this JUST because they could … TO GOUGE THE TENANT!! The housing and rental market IS OUT OF CONTROL in Massachusetts – TOO MANY HOMELESS PEOPLE, too many poorer blue collar tenants pushed out of units if the building is sold…or if the landlord feels like he or she can get away with it. … Our legislators in the STATE HOUSE in Boston need to enact rent control!!! Now!!! To stop homelessness, displacement, the degradation of blue collar neighborhoods …to stop landlords from being greedy a-holes!!! Our state legislators must step in and enact rent control! And build more affordable housing. Cities and towns must step in, too.

🌹🌹🌹… My old landlord Ken Buzzell sold the Blackstone River Road building where I lived plus his two other residential buildings across the yard for $1.2 million!!!!! Blackstone River Road!!!! He sold it all to a young guy …. The young guy is investing in Worcester three deckers all over city.

… Our state and city housing markets have no guardrails! Unscrupulous investors come in and buy old buildings/three deckers in our poorer neighborhoods, slap on some paint, do a few cosmetic tweaks … and raise the rent by hundreds of dollars!!! BECAUSE THEY CAN!!! Not only in the Canal District but all over WORCESTER and the SURROUNDING TOWNS – Worcester County!! Government must apply some pressure, brakes – poorer tenants are being gouged!! Enact the laws that will save … families…kids…seniors!!!

– Rosalie

OPEN-DOOR POLICY!

By Rosalie Tirella

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Millbury’s Saint Brigid’s Church. photos: R.T.

Miracle of miracles! As I was driving through downtown Millbury this morning I spied a CHURCH WHOSE FRONT DOORS WERE … OPEN! St. Brigid’s Catholic Church on Main. The light beige brick church with the big crosses had its big dark wooden doors flung wide open, as if to say: Hey, everyone! Come on in! Cone on in and pray!!

The church (and its rectory) face a busy street with lots of cars and pedestrians zipping by, yet it welcomes all, invites all to step out of the hurly burly and calm down in, bask in the quiet, dimly lit, pew-lined church. To meditate. Focus on a friend or family member in prayer. Wish, hope, dream … This is true for today, Sunday; it was true for yesterday at Saint Brigid’s … even Friday its front doors were open and I wanted to walk in and take a peek. Any one could walk in to take a peek …to pray to God, Jesus, Mary … Saint Brigid (whoever that is – and as an old Catholic grrrl, I know my saints)!

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Heading to Sunday Mass

In Millbury this morning it was 1955 all over again – a time when churches of all ilks all over America opened their doors to one and all pretty much from dawn to dusk – so you could pop in to say a little prayer before work, visit at lunch-time, stop in after your work day, especially if it was trying and you prayed for inner strength – or terrific and you were grateful to God and wanted to thank him for the raise or promotion. It was a time when churches weren’t robbed with a-holes fleeing, running out the back door with gold-leaf candle sticks or chalices or Holy Communion platters … or even sound systems and microphones with stands. We Americans were unafraid of being gunned down by some sicko – murdered as we were about the sing a hymn. Together. We were not attached to our smart phone and too lazy to join a real community. We were all a bit more spiritual, less rapacious. Money wasn’t so important: families were happy with modest houses, modest cars, basic vacations once a year. There were more rosaries among our middle class than more boob jobs. I suspect there are now more Boob jobs. We have Botox treatments and so many other body-enhancing but soul-depleting “treatments.” Yet we all die.

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Saint Brigid’s rectory

My Polish immigrant grandmother, Bapy, loved going to our Lady of Czestochowa Church – our neighborhood church in Green Island. There was also St. Anthony’s at Kelley Square and St. John’s on Temple. You really had quite the Catholic menu – the strict Poles of St. Mary’s, the cool Father Frank, the street priest for the poor, at St. Anthony’s or …the Irish of St. John’s. She was a proud parishioner, as was my late mom, as was I – up until college of St. Mary’s. Bapy, though poor, filled her little parishioners envelope with quarters every Sunday. Ma dressed us girls like dolls and together we walked every Sunday morning to weekend Mass where she always sat us in the pew directly behind a beautiful, beautifully dressed young woman and her daughter. The daughter had Downs Syndrome but was also beautifully dressed and so close to her mom who so obviously loved her.

I left the Catholic church when Freud, Erickson and Jung filled my brain, pushing God out of it – or at least the way I had been trained to “see” and worship Him in our working class household.

Now I say: God is pure love.

But what does that mean?

Pure happiness? Pure joy? Is God when you’re with people you love? Animals you care for? Nature. Is it feeling close? Understood? Cared about?

I don’t know. I try to be a better person every day to every molecule of life that wafts by, but I really liked believing in God decades ago when I was young. I was more optimistic, less burdened. Belonging to a parish and knowing everybody in the pews was cool. And looking up behind us, in the balcony of our little Polish church, sat our little Polish organist, dwarfed by our huge church organ with many tall golden pipes. He played the church hymns so passionately. I struggled to keep up with him! Ma always sang off key, her face contorted in pain. Sing along with our little maestro who strode into St. Mary’s every mass with his winter over coat or light jacket dramatically draped over his small shoulders was pure hell! And yet didn’t Ma love it when he strode by her and bowed ever so slightly and said in Polish, Good evening Pani. And he’d smile at Ma and her three perfectly dressed little girls, with our ribbons all aflutter, our Communion pocket books white and sparkling, Ma’s work-hardened hands covered, softened in her pale pink gloves that were so demure… so soft to the touch, going up to her wrists.

Ma used to tell me how often Bapy went to church when she lived in the Block on Bigelow Street: every morning. Every morning. She put on her cute blue hat with the fake flowers tucked in the band and walked to church in her black no nonsense shoes. Winter, summer, fall, spring. Every day.

Ma went to church every week day with the nuns at St. Mary’s School – they walked down Richland Street, where their little brick school was, and crossed Ward Street and piously filed into St. Mary’s church. On Sundays she made the trek with Bapy.

During my Green Island girlhood, when Ma and us three kids would be running an errand and just for the heck of it Ma would say: Do you want to go to church, to light a candle? Our Lady of Czestochowa was a little gold painted church on Ward Street, 20 yards away from the yet widened I-290, but I loved visiting. It always looked so cute, surrounded by pink and red flowers, the stairs painted white …inside the smell of incense was intoxicating.

Yes! we kids would shout, and we’d walk down to our church – whose doors were always unlocked – and we’d kneel once we entered the main area, Ma gripping the back of the last pew for support as she got back up from kneeling and blessing herself after entering God’s house … Then we’d walk softly to the right of the marble altar …to a huge statue of the Virgin Mary – Ma’s fave saint!- and Ma would place a dollar bill in a box, take a long stick and touch its end to an already lit votive candle and it would flare up and Ma would take the flame band ever so carefully light a votive candle that was a bit closer to the statue, closer to Blessed Mother. Then we’d all kneel on the long pale red velvet kneeler, bless ourselves and quietly say a prayer. Each of us saying our own prayer to Jesus. Ma probably praying to make rent. Me probably praying for an A on my book report. My two sisters murmuring their Hail Mary’s, too little to ask for anything … just happy to be boppin’ along with Ma.

When church doors were open …
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Ma as a young lady. She loved going to church!