Sunday, January 10, 2010


Today we continued our intermittent tour of South Bend parishes with a trip to Our Lady of Hungary. A mid-twentieth century structure housing a conveniently timed Mass, I thought it could be counted on to have some interesting art-deco and probably a few impressive examples of the melded Old and New World artistic piety that are seen in other Midwest churches built by a particular immigrant group. And the priest couldn't possibly be worse than Fr. Pelagian Orangevestments at St. Adalbert.

It was like the Battle of Mohacs. Vomitous murals, blaspheming Our Lady, the Sacred Heart, and various saints and angels by their sheer repulsiveness, covered the entire (liturgical) eastern wall of the church. One panel alone stood out as bearable by comparison, but it could only be described charitably as "odd." Then there was the cantor. She sang every verse of "Lord of the Dance" and that infernal river song from The Searchers. Twice. I have no memory of what the poor missionary priest from Nigeria or wherever said during his homily, only the memory of wanting so desperately to climb to the choir loft, grasp hold of the caterwauling ninny, and explain to her that she was the reason there were never more than fourteen people in the church at once.

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