Just what do you make of that little church at the point of Canterbury and Cornwall, near Lakeshore? Is it open? Well, the sign changes each week, so I guess there must be something going on.
"You can't do what you can't do, but you can become what you can become," says Father Martin Polito of Holy Redeemer Roman Catholic Church. Father Marty cites the negativism that some people have about Collinwood and believes that people arelooking for a way to be positive. While Polito acknowledges that Collinwood has lost some of its economic status, he nonetheless feels that there is much potential in Collinwood.
Growing up in Euclid, Polito is a graduate of St. Joe's Villa Angela High School, of Borromeo Seminary and St. Mary's Seminary. He is a priest of the diocese of Cleveland.
"My dad had a beverage store on East 152nd Street, but was disabled in mid-life. My mother went out and got a job so my father took care of things at home--a sort of role reversal. This taught me to look at things not as I wished them to be, but as they were. My mother had five kids to raise and had to go out to work as a cook or whatever job she could find. I learned early on to deal with reality."
As reported in the January, 2010 Collinwood Observer the Aspinwall Church of God Mountain Assembly provided ”Christmas in October - 2009” for their churches, 13 schools, and 3 children’s homes in Haiti. The church sent a 40 foot container to Duval Riche which is 10 miles away from Port au Prince. It was filled with 36,000 pounds of food, medicine, clothing, household articles, toys, and a large tent with chairs to be used for revivals.
On January 12, 2010, the island was devastated by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake! The container miraculously survived the destruction of the surrounding church, and school. Both the container and the revival tent have now become a shelters and homes for the pastor and the children residing in the school.
On Monday, March 15, a cluster Mass will be held at St. Casimir Roman Catholic Church on Neff Road. Father Michael Woost from St. Mary Seminary in Wickliffe will preside over the Mass and give the homily. There will be a social hour after the Mass to talk with others.
Our kindergartners began praying for Mr. Pla ever since he went into the hospital in late October. Although they are young children, they firmly believe in the power of prayer. They prayed for improvements in his health, for the comfort of his family and that he would soon be able to return to school. Some of the children even prayed for things only a kindergartner would think of: they prayed that he would not get bitten by a scorpion in the forest and that they would point arrows for him to get away from the monsters.
Haiti shares 1/3 of an island with the Dominican Republic. In the 1700s, it was one of the wealthiest colonies in the world. They exported gold, sugar, indigo, coffee, and tobacco until their resources were exhausted. Haiti now faces soil erosion, an overwhelmed education system, a struggling economy, and extreme poverty.
Today with so many large churches closing their doors, it is amazing that this small independent church remains open. It is not just another Christian church, it has a rich history dedicated to the principals of Spiritualism and Christianity. The Sunflower New Thought Spiritualist Association was founded in 1917 at 19001 Pawnee. The church itself was built in 1927 at 19204 Pawnee and called The Sunflower New Thought Spiritualist Association Church as a memorial to the students lost in the Collinwood Fire of 1908. The parents of Emma Baldwin were Spiritualists, who with their extended family lived on Pawnee and dedicated the land to build a Spiritualist church to honor those lost in the fire. The main directive of the church was to provide a place to promote new thought principles, religious observance, and charity.
Most of us receive emails from friends, strangers, and businesses asking for everything from donations to “let’s get together” or a myriad of other requests. I recently received an email from a friend of mine, Betty Wasiloff asking for my help in finding volunteers for her non-profit organization, Paint Me Happy.org.
I want to thank the man who helped me on Friday, December 4th, at the Lakeshore Shopping Center, by holding the door of a shop open, so I could free a sparrow that was trapped inside. Afterwards, I told the man that it was amazing how things sometimes happen in mysterious ways. If we had not started talking, I would not have been walking along side him for that brief period of time, and would not have seen the bird.
As the holidays approach, I find myself remembering the ones I have loved and lost. Like me, I'm sure many of you have lost someone that you love. I'd like to dedicate this poem to all of our loved ones who won't be here to enjoy the holidays with us.
In the scriptures, Jesus prayed a prayer that his followers would not be removed from the world, but that they would be kept (protected) from the evil that is in the world. Also, the Apostle Paul informed the church at Ephesus, that the strength of the church would come from “what every joint supplied”. In other words the unity in the community that allows what is best in all of us; to reach the porches of each of us; will help to strengthen and protect all of us from the underbelly of society that seeks to steal, kill and destroy us all.
Aspinwall Church of God Mountain Assembly 14627 Aspinwall Ave. (216) 268-0879 Church of God Mountain Assembly