One Loss Understands Another
Start writing a post

About two weeks ago a devastating fire broke out in the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Hundreds of years of history and religious relics were lost in the blink of an eye. As Parisians begin the arduous task of rebuilding, a loss of another church comes to mind.

In 2012, another neighborhood reeled from the devastating loss of their church, my church. Mary Help of Christians parish was in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. My history goes as far back as "in the womb," as I used to joke. But like many others in the community, Mary Help was the home parish for many in the neighborhood going as far back as 100 years or more. Most of my family was married there, baptized there, and had their funeral mass there. My childhood, adolescence, and some of my adulthood were spent there.

However, Mary Help was more than a church. It served the community through providing food and clothes for those who needed it, it was a place that kept kids off the streets and was a place where one could not only gather with others for mass, but also for bingo and the occasional dance. So many memories for so many people.

When the news came that Mary Help's doors were to be closed forever, the parishioners jumped into action writing letters, attempting to contact the Landmarks Conservancy to get their help in preserving the church, and reaching out to the media in whichever way they could. I wrote a letter, but in my heart, I knew that I was doing it in vain. Mary Help's fate had already been determined.

Once the church had its door permanently closed, the next step was to have it torn down. When I heard the news, my heart broke. I remember asking myself, who could destroy a church? But apparently, there are some that have no issue with it. In 2013, the church and everything in it was torn down to make room for luxury condominiums. Many watched in horror and disbelief. All that was left were bricks and rubble.

My mother was fortunate and has a brick from the building. It sits in her curio, another piece of my family history on display. Every so often I look at this piece of Mary Help and I still get sad. When I make a rare trip to the Lower East Side, I pass by the space where Mary Help once stood and it's still difficult to look at. Even after all these years, it still hurts.

As I watched the destruction of the Notre-Dame Cathedral on TV, I had an idea of how Parisians were feeling. The deep loss and the sadness over the place that once held many memories is gone. But, they have the chance to rebuild. They can take the shell that is left behind and restore it to its former glory, giving it a new life. Mary Help, on the other hand, had no such opportunity. Its misfortune was being atop "prime" real estate.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

50 Iconic Quotes From 'The Golden Girls' That Will Always Make You Laugh

"People waste their time pondering whether a glass is half empty or half full. Me, I just drink whatever's in the glass."


"The Golden Girls" created history when it first premiered in 1985 setting the stage of strong-willed female characters who are aging gracefully with dignity. It is a treasure trove filled with humorous scenes and situations that will always be relevant to watch. I still rejoice in watching these spectacular women embrace life with full stride and the way they always strive to focus on the brighter side of life.

These 4 dynamic and awe-inspiring women taught us that age is indeed nothing more than a number and that we can set out to accomplish anything our heart desires at any time.

Keep Reading... Show less
Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixaba

Unfortunately, the time is here. It is officially the spring semester, and you know what that means: lots and lots of studying. If you are in the same situation I am, then you are probably doing your 3rd semester of online/hybrid school. Not being at school or not attending classes in person definitely makes learning and studying a lot harder. Because I know this struggle all too well, I put together a list of study tips to hopefully help us all succeed a little more this semester.

Keep Reading... Show less

8 Valentine's Day Gift Ideas For Your Long-Distance Partner

Looking for a gift idea for your long-distance Valentine's date this year? Here are some creative, thoughtful gifts for you!

Photo by Ben Collins on Unsplash

As Valentine's Day approaches, I realized that it's the first Valentine's Day I have had with my boyfriend that we're more than 6,000 miles apart. Despite the distance though, my mind has been reeling over what to get him, as one of my main love languages is gift-giving. So here are some ideas that I've seen that I think would be perfect for any relationship, whether you're together or apart.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure how to write this article.

In the past, I've written about the lies we tell ourselves. I've written about how thoughts can be destructive, how they can have power over who we are.

Keep Reading... Show less

Put Down Your Phone And Read These 8 Statistics About Texting And Driving You Wish Didn't Exist

We text all the time, so it's no surprise you may find yourself wanting to pick up your phone even when you're driving.


You're driving to the grocery store when your phone buzzes in your pocket. You instinctively reach to check it, but it can wait until you park. These are eight statistics to read before you text and drive because they'll change how you view your time on the road.

Everyone's made the mistake of looking at their phone while in the driver's seat, but not everyone gets home safely afterward. Learn why it's better to avoid distracted driving so you don't become one of these statistics this year:

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Have An Eating Disorder And I Refuse To Let It Kill Me

Even at my lowest, the number on the scale never seemed low enough... but was it ever worth the risk of losing my life?

Trigger warning: This article discusses topics that may be triggering for some readers.

I looked down at my thumb today. I know haven't been eating enough. I told everyone I would get all my vitamins and calories in. I totally wanted to eat more of the guacamole I bought the other day, but I counted what I had eaten and those numbers seemed a little too high. I decided I didn't need the extra helping, so I went to bed and the guacamole went bad.

Keep Reading... Show less

When pursuing a degree that most deem 'useless' or a 'waste of time' there happens to be a lot of self-doubt and fear, especially with the pending doom of graduation around the corner. I remember when I was about to graduate from college with a Bachelor's in Acting, I was absolutely terrified.

Keep Reading... Show less

TikTok Made Me Buy It: Flawless's Skincare Fridge

I bought and tested one of TikTok's popular products so you don't have to.


I spend a lot of time on TikTok and I never know whether the products I see are worth it or not, especially when I'm looking at the price. For Christmas, my aunt got me a gift card to Ulta. I didn't know what to buy. I have way too many palettes and lipsticks. I have my essentials. What else could I need? Then it hit me that I saw a lot of people these past few months showing off their skincare fridges. So, the second I thought of it I went on the Ulta app and bought it. So, here are my thoughts.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments