Bike & Build

<p>Mary Kate Long, '10, is cycling from Boston to Santa Barbara with the Bike and Build organization to raise funds for affordable housing. </p>

<p>I had the pleasure of visiting with a number of participants. What an amazing group of young men and women!</p>

<p>For those interested, you can follow Ms. Long's progress. Bike</a> & Build - Boston to SB 2010</p>

<p>Bike</a> & Build - Mary Kate Long</p>

<p>Bike</a> & Build - About Us</p>

TheDad, this should be of interest. </p>

Soulful farewell: A Smith College student records Catholics saying goodbye to their churches
Photos by Gordon Daniels
Story by Suzanne Wilson
Wednesday, March 24, 2010</p>

<p>Mary Kate Long, a 21-year-old senior at Smith College in Northampton, says that she is interested in what religion means not as an abstract set of beliefs, but as a presence in people's daily lives.</p>

<p>Last fall, when she was looking for a topic for an independent project, her adviser suggested she talk to parishioners in Northampton who were going to be affected by the decision of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield to close three churches - St. Mary of the Assumption, Blessed Sacrament and St. John Cantius. A new consolidated parish, now called St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, was created at Sacred Heart Church on King Street.</p>

<p>Long, who had been baptized as a Catholic but had drifted away as she grew up, was intrigued. She contacted some of the parishes and asked whether anyone would be interested in talking with her on camera about what their churches had meant to them.</p>

<p>"Everyone was so welcoming," said Long. Though the announcements of the closings had sparked shock, some anger and great sadness, Long says that what she found most meaningful were the interviews that focused on the long-standing ties people had to their churches - the woman, for instance, who was baptized and married in St. Mary's, and had seen younger generations of her family baptized and married there as well.</p>

<p>"It was an incredible thing to hear about," she said. "I felt so lucky."</p>

<p>Long videotaped seven interviews, as well as a service at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. From those materials, she is creating a film about faith and memories and change that she hopes will become part of the history of Northampton's Catholic community.</p>

<p>Douglas Almanzar, the former music director at Sacred Heart who is now helping blend the individual choirs into one, was interviewed by Long. "I think it's great that someone took the time to do this." One hundred years from now, he says, her film will help future generations understand what it was like to say farewell to the past and to create a new parish.</p>

<p>NOTE: Long's film, "Changes at Church: Exploring the Consolidation of Northampton's Catholic Parishes," will be shown, along with other student projects, at Smith College on April 17 in Seelye 302 between 2:45 and 4 p.m. For more information, go to Smith</a> College: Celebrating Collaborations.


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