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PHOTOS WERE TAKEN THE WEEK BEFORE THE CLOSING MASS ON DEC. 28, 2008

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The date on the cornerstone behind John Paul II's right shoulder is 1904. (All photos Mark E. Rondeau)
 
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The stunning altar area of the church. Another church in Adams was closed at the same time. St. Stan's parishioners now are holding vigil in the church while awaiting answer to an appeal from Rome.

 

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My friend Bernie (Bernadette) took me up into the choir loft to show me this part of the circular rose window. This section depicts Archbishop Jan Cieplak, of Polish birth, confronting Soviet officials Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin. In the 1920s, Cieplak, leader of Russia's Catholics, defied the Soviet state in their defense. Originally sentenced to death after a show trial, he was released because of international pressure, including a letter-writing campaign by U.S. Poles. Cieplak visited St. Stan's in 1926, shortly before his death.

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Another stunning stained glass window.

 

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The ceiling of the church.

 

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The interior of the church taken from the back of the church. Being a Catholic from the adjacent city of North Adams, I had never been in St. Stans before. I wanted to see it before it was closed. While visiting it a couple of days before these photos were taken, I ran into two good friends of mine, Eugene Michalenko and Bernie Aramata, two members of the parish.
 
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Altar to the left of the main altar. Two chuches were also closed during the same weekend in North Adams. My church building, formerly St. Anthony, will now be called St. Elizabeth and serve as parish church for the whole city. I wish all the churches could stay open, but I don't blame the Diocese of Springfield, which has jurisdiction. Rather I blame all those absent, all those Catholics who have turned their back on their spiritual heritage. Sure, the Church has often been corrupt, most recently with the sexual abuse scandal, but over the past eight years the U.S. government has been far more dishonest, corrupt and deadly. Do we renounce our country? No! Then why let our faith wither away?
 
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Beautiful stained glass windows in the church. Each set features a man and a woman.

 

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This window shows the Nativity and the Adoration of the Shepherds.

 

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The suspended crucifix adds a truly dramatic touch to the church interior.

 

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Mark Rondeau - Writer, Editor, Photographer

Religion