Our Lady of Perpetual Help

125th Jubilee Celebration


Back to the Future

A number of years ago, the delightful movie, Back to Future took the fantasy of time travel both back to the past and into the future. Field of Dreams played with the same porous boundaries between the present and the past. Two years ago, I was able to go to the Holy Land, and see the ruins of the very long history of that part of the world. There was an active archeological dig happening right next to a visitor’s center on the Sea of Galilee. What was uncovered was the fishing village of Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene. The village had a beautiful synagogue, with a mosaic floor, incredibly preserved. The Gospels says that Jesus went about all the villages (around the Sea of Galilee) teaching in their synagogues. It is very easy to believe that Jesus both prayed and taught there.

Our theme during this 125th Jubilee Year is “We Remember, We Celebrate. We Believe.” I would like to tell you about an exciting activity/event that will be part of our final Mass celebrating the end of our Jubilee Year, on Sunday September 23rd 2018. We will be burying a time capsule, as a remembrance of this Jubilee Year and of us who have celebrated it. Many organizations have buried time capsules. They are usually solid, sturdy boxes or trunks. Within the trunk is placed: documents, photos, artifacts, that reflect life in 2018. We already have lots of ideas what we want to place in this historic box/trunk: The Jubilee Book of Memories, some parish bulletins, the Monthly Messenger, a copy of our parish mailing list, copies of the Brooklyn Tablet, the local newspapers, photos, letters of well wishes for the people who will unearth this in the future. We will put religious articles, the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. We will put CDs, DVDs, an old cell phone, catalogues of cars and clothes, memory sticks for computers. We will put fun things: Baseball hats of the Mets and Yankees, yearbooks, the Jubilee Shirts, the banners we hung in the church and outside the church. Use your imagination.

Wouldn’t it be nice for the young people who are here, who remember when we buried the Time Capsule, to dig it up in 25 years to see how much life has changed? As I saw in the Holy Land, many buildings that were the most solid and magnificent structures of their day, often were destroyed or hidden, reclaimed by nature over the centuries. Think of Machu Picchu, or the Pyramids, or the Dead Sea Scrolls. To see how people, our ancestors lived hundreds and thousands of years ago, would be a true buried treasure for those who follow us in the future…

The place where we will bury the time capsule will be on 59th Street, close to 5th Avenue, the place of the original wooden church that was the first church built to serve the growing new parish. The trunk/box/capsule will be covered with dirt, and then over the place, the beautiful, large icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, which hung on the wall of OLPH Girls High School, will become the centerpiece of this memorial. We have a committee of people who will work to begin to collect the contents of the capsule. Place photos in plastic bags, (Ziploc). Environmentalists say that plastic is not biodegradable. We will soon be giving out special letter paper for your letters to future parishioners.