My heart felt a bit broken by the idea that this would have been the very first night that Our Lady Of Peace would not have been open to all until 9p.m. . The simple fact that Fr. Daly kept the church open from 7a.m. until 9p.m. was incredibly important to me.
I found the votives depicting the Virgin Mary that I had lit during the vigil the night before and we added 2 new ones that I had made: one with my grandparents and one with the image of OLP :if I had one regret it was that we did not open the wooden doors as we left. The altar was no longer visible , nor was the painting of OLP. We also left a thank you card to everyone for all of their hard work.
Since I was not sure what would happen next , I took some photos to capture what was still visible.
Concerned that the lights might soon be turned off, I tried to capture my great grandfathers name one last time.This was the best that I could do.
Along with the small stained glass windows under which we had all walked so many times in the last 2 days . Suddenly the smallest things seemed important simply because they might not be visible tomorrow.
We spoke with many folks who stopped by to pay their respects. Most were both saddened and shocked that such a beautiful church had been closed.
Worn out and weary, we took one last photo and left. It was after midnight :we had officially rung in my husband's birthday at OLP.
As time has passed , the steps have evolved and changed. We try to bring things that signify what OLP has meant to us.
For me, the loss of our Shepard was almost as great as the loss of OLP itself. As tribute to him, we left a photo along with a prayer for priests and some candles wrapped in clovers.
The following weekend we left lights of LOVE for all.
My original sketch called for the words "Love", "Peace" , "Hope" ,"Grace" ,"Joy "but I quickly learned that much more than 50 tea light candles would be required to legibly spell that many inspiring words. And Love seemed to be the most important element to life that night.
We returned this past weekend to celebrate mom parents 56th wedding anniversary. I would like to think our visit will bring the blessing of happy and healthy years to them both.
Earlier in the week I had searched the church web site , looking through archived bulletins in search of prayers that might speak to folks as they stopped by the steps of OLP.
Everything that we have left behind has been left with great love and with the hope that " God is indeed at work here" and that good will come of all of this.