Thursday, August 28, 2014

Austrian quick takes

Here is the chapel in Gaming, Austria with its 'new' ceiling; the photo below shows the original Gothic ceiling. One just has to climb 144 stairs to see it! They are standing on the Baroque ceiling. I was based here in gaming for four years, yet I had never seen this well-known secret. Sometimes it is nice to be tourists in a familiar place.
 the beautiful Byzantine Catholic chapel under construction at the International Theological Institute
 at the children's museum at Schonbrunn Palace
sorry Mozart! I know the US dollar is weak, but we didn't change enough money into Euros! 
Party of 5 at the oldest public zoo in the world- We enjoyed sharing some schnitzel and dobos cake in this beautiful folly at the old center of the zoo.

Pretty Happy Funny Real Austria

pretty- Every time you turn your head, you will see beautiful things in Austria- Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque
above- St Stephen's Cathedral (1160) in Vienna below- Schonbrunn Palace
happy-The girls got to visit the campus of the International Theological Institute, where they hope to study between high school and finishing their university degrees. God's will be done!
funny- The funny little ones are now 7 and 5, and I was proud of them during this summer of travel. They needed to adapt to lots of change- from the food and drink being different not to mention different languages and cultures.
real- There is a lot of history in the 'old world,' and much of it is sobering. Below is a photo of a 'plague column' in Vienna. This statue praises God that the black death is over; the plague occurred from 1346 to 53 and took around 100 million people, at least one third of Europe's population.
above-The Ringstrasse houses the government offices in Vienna and also was the site of Hitler's  triumphant display of power after he invaded the country and entered the city in March 1938. below-  at St Stephen's in Vienna- The original icon of Our Lady of Mariapoch (1696), taken from its original place- the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic icon screen in Mariapoch, Hungary.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Martyered Bishops, Martyred Faith in Transylvania Romania

The communists have won in Romania. There are twice as many funerals as baptisms in the Romanian Greek-Catholic churches. This is due to a low birth rate but also leaving the Greek Catholic churches for Orthodoxy, the Roman-rite, and various Protestant denominations as well as the 'church of the mall and sports' like in the West. Do the martyred bishops and other saints weep from heaven? 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Stolen Churches, Stolen Faith in Transylvania Romania

My husband's great grandfather helped build this formerly Greek Catholic church before the second world war. The entire village was Greek Catholic. It was given to the Orthodox by the communist government and so remains. A neighboring village with two churches (Greek Catholic for Romanians, Roman-rite Catholic for the German minority)- the Greek Catholic church was given to the new Orthodox and the Germans moved back to the West. The Roman-rite church remained empty. After 1989, the Germans rent the Roman rite church to the Greek Catholics and the Orthodox still worship in the formerly Greek Catholic church. Before the second world war, there were no Orthodox in the area, but people- understandably- wanted to stay out of the labor camps so they 'converted.' Now? People go the church that is closest and attend services where they will see their friends and co-workers. They worship t the church of their fathers- not great-grandfathers- so they attend the Orthodox church.
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