Another Sacred Heart
This "Church Sunday" at Newark USA I show pix of a church I have passed by innumerable times on Grove Street in Irvington. I discovered when I finally took the time to get out of the car to take pictures, that it is another "Sacred Heart", this one "of Jesus".
I found an album of 18 fotos, interior and exterior, by a Polish(-American?) fotografer, Konrad Lata, on fotki.com.
Sacred Heart of Jesus Church - Irvington, NJThe "..." is original to the text, and does not lead to anything else, in the fashion of a "more" clickable link.
Jeden z najpiekniejszych polskich kosciolów w NJ.
Churches built and maintained by Polish immigrants are great sign of faith and their presence in local communities. Some of them are over 100 years old, still marvelous, still with Sunday/weekday mass in Polish. Sadly, some of parishes are having hard time now, trying to survive independent (especially in Newark, NJ archdiocese). Archbishop wants to close some of churches, forcing parishioners to drive double amount of time to another church and taking from them privilege of attending Sunday’s Polish Mass in churches built by their fathers. Official reason is "not enough people attending services". Ironically, those churches are filled by people during masses and services in Polish, but Newark's archbishop or his advisors seems to have problem with recognizing this fact…
Fotografers are often annoyed at wires that cross something they'd like to show, but sometimes the net of crossed wires becomes an extra point of interest. I'm not sure which this is.
There is — or is it only "was"? — apparently a joint St. Leo and Sacred Heart parochial school, by St. Leo's. I found interesting this information about tuition. But it was for the 2008-2009 school year. Has that school closed? Like so many others in this Archdiocese?
Registration is now open for the 2008-2009 school year. It is first come, first served. The registration fee is a non-refundable $200, plus a technology fee of $100. Tuition is:That's a lot of money, indeed an oppressive amount of money, for most families. It may be modest by comparison with secular private schools, but not in comparison with free public schools. Public schools are better for social integration, so my sadness at the gradual disappearance of parochial education from this state mixes with satisfaction that more kids are being moved to the melting pot of public education. "Parochial" does, after all, have as one of its meaning, "very limited or narrow in scope or outlook; provincial". I would never have guessed that "parochial" originally related to "parish" (from Late Latin parochia).
One student: $4,000
Two students: $6,800
Three or more: $8,600
Here, glare from the sun intrudes upon the portal. I thought at first it ruined the picture, but then I saw the beams as like those that are sometimes shown of beams thru clouds, representing rays of the divine, and decided maybe the foto isn't ruined after all.
A Facebook page confirms that "Sacred Heart [school?] merged with St. Leo's Recently."
This monument is alongside the church in a grassy yard in front of the rectory. I didn't know what it was.
Tho I did not find a website by the church itself, I did find a webpage for this church on a more general church-information website that gives this information:
Founded:1925I called the telefone number given. Tho I reached only voicemail, I did establish that the church is still going, and still offering two masses in Polish each Sunday! Altho the webpage says there's a mass in Creole, the recorded message does not. Wikipedia says that "Irvington also has a large Haitian-American population, with 5,812 persons claiming Haitian ancestry in the 2000 Census." If no Catholic church in Irvington is presently offering masses in creole, perhaps Sacred Heart of Vailsburg, not very far away, could bring in some of Irvington's Haitian Catholics with masses with at least passages in creole or standard French (which would be more accessible to Vailsburg's French-speaking African immigrants).
Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish
537 Grove St
Irvington, NJ 07111
Phone: (973) 373-2232 Fax: (973) 373-5935
When I looked at this closer view in my graffics program, I was able to read the plaques, and see that in the foreground lies the grave of Rt. Rev. Monsignor Metislaus C. Lankau, and at the back is a 1955 commemoration of the thirtieth anniversary of that priest's service to the church. The church does not have a graveyard in general, just this one grave.
The fact that SHJ is still offering two masses in Polish each week suggests that it has retained ties to Poles who moved elsewhere, since I doubt Irvington still has a significant Polish population. Only 9% of the township's 60,695 people (at the 2000 census) were white, of any ethnicity.
The lushly planted grounds of the church and its rectory are an oasis in a slitely grim stretch of Grove Street.
As I walked around that part of Irvington that day, looking for a place to take a foto of the towers of Sacred Heart of Vailsburg, which would be visible were it not for big trees on the streets of the hill that rises from the Garden State Parkway, I was struck by how bad much of Irvington is now. Lots of boarded-up houses and trash on the streets. Irvington is so distressed that the idea of being annexed to a Greater Newark might very well win approval by Irvington's voters. With the annexation of Irvington, Newark's population would jump by 60,000, to about 340,000. In rank, Newark would jump from 65th largest city in the Nation to about 55th, just ahead of New Orleans. Such a population jump would tell people that big things are happening in Newark. It's very American to think that bigger is better, so a population jump for Newark would make a very favorable impression on public opinion.
Perhaps the landscapers should have chosen dwarf evergreens for the front of the rectory.
Irvington and East Orange have become, in recent years, a sort of dumping ground for Newark's poor. The distress that increased numbers of poor people cause those near-in suburbs does not spare Newark. Crime, for instance, does not heed city boundaries. The solutions to the problems of this region must be regional, and one solution other regions have arrived at is municipal consolidation, so that common problems can be handled by common institutions. A Greater Newark would not only address regional problems more effectively. It would also do so more cheaply, due to economies of scale and the reduction of duplication and elimination of superfluous political offices. The very best local politicians from annexed areas would take their place in Newark's City Council, where they could brainstorm with their peers on what we need to do as a region. I heard Mayor Booker on the May 14, 2009 episode of WBGO's "Newark Today" radio call-in show mention municipal consolidation. But he has not as yet done anything about this. Time's a-wastin'.