Catholic Church: Are your doors Really Open?

Carmen Villegas Funeral Mass

Catholic Church: The doors of the church are open, but are they really?

I read a heart breaking article on The New York Times this morning  about a woman by the name of Carmen Villegas who succumbed to breast cancer at the age of 58 earlier this month.  Carmen’s last wish was to lie in repose for just one hour inside  Our Lady Queen of Angels church located in East Harlem, NY. a place that Carmen dedicated her life service to according to the  NY Times article. Carmen’s request was denied.

The Archdiocese of New York closed the doors of Our Lady Queen of Angels in 2007, when that decision was made, it was Carmen Villega’s who organized a group of faithful members and held weekly services on the sidewalk for many hoping to persuade the Catholic church to reopen the sanctuary. Unfortunately, that did not happen.

While Carmen professionally worked as a medical administrator, her service of the church was her greatest passion.  According to the article,  Carmen led retreats, organized many parish events and Religious Festivals among other things.

Allegedly, in a final attempt to accommodate Carmen’s wish, a letter was sent to the Archdiocese  by family members friends and politicians, however, Joseph Zwilling, the spokesman for the archdiocese, said he had not seen the letter  that had been hand delivered last Friday, and was unable to find out who – if anyone – had read it.  He offered condolences to the family, but said the sanctuary would stay closed.

Realizing that they were not going to change the mind of the Catholic Church, Carmen’s wish was fulfilled as best possible by family members and friends, as Carmen did lay at rest and a funeral mass held at Our Lady Queen of Angels, however, her coffin laid  under a tent on a rainy day outside the  locked church doors of Our Lady of Queen of Angels.  (smh)

As reported by the New York Times:


The crowd stood and sang “Ave Maria” as it welcomed the shiny black hearse when it turned onto 113th Street. Carmen’s coffin was gently placed before the church, while Gloria Quinones, an activist and friend, draped a small Puerto Rican flag on it. Margarita Barada, a spry, white-haired woman, said through her tears that they would pray a decade of the rosary for Carmen.

One by one, women stepped forward to recite a Hail Mary, then stepped back to the coffin, each holding a rose aloft. Nearby, a woman stood stoically clutching a large crucifix. The rain fell. People cried.

When the final Amen was uttered, Carmen Villegas – who loved her church to her dying breath — was encircled by an honor guard of her sisters.  On the sidewalk.


[quote]“At the birth of Christ there was no room at the inn,” said Frances Mastrota, who served with Carmen on the local community board. “How come the archdiocese in 2012 can’t open the doors? What does it cost? There’s still no room at the inn.”[/quote]

What a powerful question Frances brings to the forefront today.  The Catholic Church spends billions of dollars on its church houses, the article does not indicate that the archdiocese statement reflects that the building was inhabitable, so what was the real deal?   This was a faithful serving member in your flock and because you did not get the letter you could not open the doors, Chile Pleeze!

The Church Lady’s question to the Catholic Church regarding this matter is Are your doors really open?

 Read more details regarding the Catholic Church Archdiocese denying Carmen’s last wish












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