Despite Order, Church Celebrates Easter.
A church told it could not celebrate Easter defied those orders and
held services anyway.
St. Stanislaus Kostka -- a Roman Catholic church with a Polish-heritage
majority had its Easter Mass Sunday morning with a secret and
unidentified priest as a celebrant. The parish is at odds with the
Archdiocese of St. Louis -- because its lay board of directors refuses
to relinquish control of its property and assets to Archbishop Raymond
Burke. In June of last year, Burke removed their priest and banned
For Easter -- they defied the
order and found a priest from Poland
sympathetic to their cause. The board of directors flew in the
celebrant, but would not name him because they fear repercussions from
the archbishop. "We don't like to put our supporters in jeopardy you
could say. He has volunteered to come and help us out and we welcome
that all the time," lay board member John Baras said.
This is only the second time St. Stanislaus has had a priest since
their public feud with the archbishop began almost a year ago. The only
other time they had a mass here was Christmas. Parishioners said it is
sad that they must shepherd a celebrant cloaked in secrecy, but
member, Vicky Aitken, said they refuse to give up their Roman Catholic
religion. "It means so much to us as Polish people that we want to make
sure our spiritual needs are taken care of," she said.
Even if it means doing so without the blessing of their church leaders.
An archdiocese spokesperson said Archbishop Burke would not comment on
Sunday's Easter Mass, nor would he take any action against the priest
or St. Stanislaus.
Copyright © 2005, KPLR
© 2005 Tribune Interactive, Inc. All rights reserved.