Have you ever wondered what lies beneath buildings, parking lots and parks?

When an original wall of the Erie Canal was discovered in Buffalo, a state agency came up with an ingenious idea for its display. The first part entailed making a parking lot out of the area. But wait, if that wasn’t preposterous enough, the second part was a dilly as well. Display signs on top of the pretty blacktop would explain the rich history under the lot. How unique, paving over actual Erie Canal history!

This was the seed that began a grass-roots demonstration from Buffalonians. Back then, the Preservation Coalition of Western New York, under Tim Tielman, began the movement to regain a lost part of our city’s original heritage along with Rep. Brian Higgins, who helped secure millions of dollars to fund the project. (By the way, be sure to come and visit the new Buffalo waterfront and as well see our city’s spectacular architecture.)

I remember the sign on my front lawn, “Erie Canal: Do the Real Thing.” A jogger passing by yelled out, “Why waste your time with a sign for something that’s never going to fly?” Those same types of sentiments were being echoed to me as I tried to get signatures for the petition such as, “Why should I even bother signing this?”

Apathy Must Not Prevail

Unfortunately, apathy and indifference feed off each other. Nothing had changed for decades, so why should it change now? Why get involved? Change can and will happen when people see the merit of their past history/tradition. Buffalo’s past is vibrantly rising again.

Change can and will happen when Catholics see the importance behind rekindling past elements from their Church’s tradition. Sadly again, that ever-present stagnating presence of complacency, emanating from the hierarchy of our Church, has left so many Catholics seemingly resigned in that same mindset, never really thinking to ever question things as they are. Why should things ever change – this is how it has been done for centuries? Beyond this is there a particular underlying reticence leaving Catholics uneasy or afraid to get involved? Do they feel that this would be an unfaithful act, speaking out against the Church on issues of their conscience?

Author's Bio: 

Margaret Mary O’Connor has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Buffalo, and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry from Christ the King Seminary, in East Aurora, NY. She is a former Chaplain and currently is a Eucharistic Minister at Our Lady of Charity Parish in Buffalo, NY. She literally walks the walk, on picket lines to help keep the issues of Women’s Ordination and Church Accountability on the Priest Sexual Abuse Issue, at the forefront of any Catholic’s attention. As a fellow member of the Laity, herself she believes any Catholic, deserves at minimal at least the truth from Rome, as opposed to the continual out right deception they are receiving. She also is a member of Call to Action, Future Church, Roman Catholic Women Priests, Women’s Ordination Conference, and SNAP, (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.) Buffalo Central Terminal, Restoration, Preservation Buffalo Niagara, and Western New York Land Conservancy. Margaret Mary is the recipient of the Special Award for Achievement from the Dale Carnegie Public Speaking Course. She also enjoys Gardening, Pilates and reading Mystery books.

Access Chapter 4 of her upcoming book at http://www.yourradicaltruth.com