Mater Dolorosa

Mother of Sorrows Rectory on Mount Read Boulevard in Rochester, New York
Mother of Sorrows Rectory on Mount Read Boulevard in Rochester, New York

The last two Catholic funeral masses we’ve been to were said by priests with accents so thick it was nearly impossible to understand what they were saying. It is almost as if the church is going back to Latin, the way it was when I was serving mass as an altar boy. The church is desperate for priests as well as congregation.

With tall ceilings, cream colored walls, abstract stained-glass windows and no statues except for the crucifix on right hand side of the alter and the slim Blessed Virgin mounted to a wood panel on the left, Mother of Sorrows Church looked like a big, modern chapel, a “Spiritual Vessel” as the the type on the wall proclaimed. A Renaissance style painting of Mary looking skyward with the crucified Christ collapsed in her arms was the central alter piece. Two dimensional representations of the fourteen stations of the cross were hung on a navy blue panel that circled the sanctuary and it looked like the Yankee logo was mounted on the ceiling although I think it was a particularly decorative letter “M.”

After the mass I picked up a holy card in the foyer. I have added it to my holy card collection. It has a picture of Blessed Virgin with a small vessel on her heart with seven small swords piercing the vessel. Above the picture it read, “Devotion to the Seven Sorrows of Mary” and it was followed with instructions to say one Hail Mary while meditating on each sorrow.

1. The Prophecy of Saint Simeon.
2. The Escape and Flight into Egypt.
3. The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem.
4. The Meeting of Mary and Jesus on the Via Dolorosa.
5. The Crucifixion of Jesus on Mount Calvary.
6. The Piercing of the Side of Jesus, and His Descent from the Cross.
7. The Burial of Jesus by Joseph of Arimathea.

On the way out we drove by the back of the old church rectory which was right next to the abandoned Mother of Sorrows school and I took this shot. This situation could be number 8.

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