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[John_Lit] Last Supper

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  • James McGrath
    Steve Puluka wrote:, ... Although you are right to stress that the meal is in no way emphasized, the reference to the beloved disciple _reclining_ next to
    Message 1 of 19 , Jul 8, 2001
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      Steve Puluka wrote:,
      >
      > I would quibble with this interpretation. In
      > reading John's narrative on the night that Jesus was

      > betrayed I am struck by the LACK OF A MEAL. There
      > is no food mentioned, other than Judas tipping his
      > hand. Rather, I see that the Eucharistic symbolism
      > we find in the synoptic tradition has been moved
      > to points earlier in John's Gospel, the bread and
      > the fish for example.
      >
      > I think that we are so familiar with the synoptic
      > picture of that meal that we transfer the image to
      > John's story, when it is not there.
      >
      Although you are right to stress that the meal is in
      no way emphasized, the reference to the beloved
      disciple _reclining_ next to Jesus (at the table) is
      surely an indication that a meal of some sort is
      taking place.

      --- John Lupia <JLupia2@...> wrote:
      > John's Gospel has the Last Supper as the Pesach
      > Eve Seder, still widely
      > celebrated among Jews today.
      > [snip]
      > It is called the Pesach Eve Seder, well documented
      > in Jewish literature, and
      > stems from ancient tradition. It is not the
      > Passover meal proper, but one
      > the takes place the evening prior to it. Look it
      > up.
      >
      I think all of us would be most grateful if you could
      give us some indication of where to look it up. It is
      presumably a rabbinic tradition, but how ancient is
      it? If it is in the Mishnah or Tosefta that would
      probably be close enough to John's time for a link to
      be plausible. If it is only found in the midrashim or
      talmudim on the other hand, the distance in time would
      presumably necessitate extreme caution in appealing to
      the tradition in question to explain John.

      Please do let us know more about the Pesach Eve Seder
      when you get the chance.

      Thanks,

      James McGrath






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    • Ken Durkin
      From: James McGrath ... Reclining not simply next to Jesus but on Jesus.
      Message 2 of 19 , Jul 8, 2001
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        From: "James McGrath" <jamesfrankmcgrath@...>

        > Although you are right to stress that the meal is in
        > no way emphasized, the reference to the beloved
        > disciple _reclining_ next to Jesus (at the table) is
        > surely an indication that a meal of some sort is
        > taking place.

        Reclining not simply "next to" Jesus but "on" Jesus.
      • John Lupia
        To: James McGrath Regarding Pesach Eve Seder in Mishnaic and Talmudic Literature: Our understanding of the Pesach Eve (Erev) Seder comes largely from the
        Message 3 of 19 , Jul 8, 2001
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          To: "James McGrath"
          Regarding Pesach Eve Seder in Mishnaic and Talmudic Literature:

          Our understanding of the Pesach Eve (Erev) Seder comes largely from the
          writings of the Mishnaic & Jerusalem Talmud Tractate Pesahim, and the Gospel
          of John itself.


          Passover Eve

          Before the common meal on Passover eve, the day was filled with preperation
          for the even. A full contingent of priests -- twenty-four divisions instead
          of the usual one--came early to the Temple. Their first task was the
          burning of the hametz, "leven," which had been searched for by candlelight
          in each home the night before and then removed for burning the next morning
          (Mishnah, Pesahim 1-3). By midday all work stopped. The afternoon was set
          aside for the slaughtering of the lamb. The offering of the passover
          sacrifice at the Temple began about 3:00pm. (Pesahim 5:1) and was conducted
          in three massive shifts. When the temple courts was filled with the first
          group of offerers, the gates of the court were closed. The rams horn was
          sounded and the sacrifice began (Pesahim5:5). Each Jew slaughtered his own
          lamb. The priests stood in two rows, one holding a gold basins and the
          other silver. After the blood was drained into the basin, it was tossed
          against the base of the altar (Pesahim 5:6). While the offerings were going
          on, the Levites sang the Hallel (Pss 113-118). Each lamb was then skinned
          and its fat with kidneys removerd for burning on the alter (Pesahim 5:9-10;
          cf. Lev 3:3-5). Before leaving the temple each offerer slung his lamb --
          wrapped in its own hide over his shoulder (Babylonian Talmud, Peshahim 65b).
          He then departed with his company to prepare the passover meal.
          Immediately, the next division of offerers filed into the Temple court and
          the ritual was repeated. (cf. also Pesahim 66a & Jerusalem Talmud Pesahim
          6:1)


          Mishnah (Pesahim 4:1) "it is a positive commandment for each Jew to drink
          four cups of wine on Passover eve, and even the poorest Jew must not receive
          less than four cups of wine." Number four, four cups, have special
          significance, given in many variations: four cups of wine, four questions,
          four sons, four special symbolic foods to be eaten - the paschal sacrifice,
          the matza, the bitter herb and the haroset.

          For additional bibliographic references see:

          Wolf Heidenheim, Passover Eve (Roedelheim, 1822-23)

          Harold Hoehner, “Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ,” Zondervan,
          1977).

          Rylands Hebrew MS 6 (Catalonian c. 1350) A Haggadah, or service book used
          at the Seder on Passover eve.

          Baruch Bokser, Origins of the Seder, (Univ. of Calif. Press) [o.p.]

          E. Daniel Goldschmidt, The Passover Haggadah: Its Sources and History (Mosad
          Bialik: Jerusalem, 1977) & additional readings tba; primary rabbinic
          sources.

          Yosef Hayim, Haggadah and history : a panorama in facsimile of five
          centuries of the printed Haggadah from the collections of Harvard University
          and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America [Philadelphia : Jewish
          Publication Society of America, 1976].

          Joseph Tabory, "The Passover eve ceremony : an historical survey " Immanuel
          No 12 (Spr 1981), p. 32-43.

          S. Stein, "The Influence of Symposia Literature on the Literary Form of the
          Pesach Haggadah" JJS 8 (1957), pp. 13-44

          Lawrence Hoffman, "A Symbol of Salvation in the Passover Seder" Passover and
          Easter: The Symbolic Structuing of Sacred Seasons [Two Liturgical
          Traditions, vol. 6] Notre Dame, Ind. Notre Dame Unversity Press, 1999

          Jakob J. Petuchowski, "Do this in remembrance of me' (1 Cor 11:24)" Journal
          of Biblical Literature 76 (D 1957), p. 293-298.

          Baruch M Bokser, "Was the Last Supper a Passover Seder?" Bible Review 3,2
          (1987) 24-33.

          Giuseppe Ghiberti," Jesus’ Passover Meal "SIDIC XXX:1 [1997], 8 12.


          Cordially in Christ,
          John
          <><


          John N. Lupia
          501 North Avenue B-1
          Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA
          JLupia2@...
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          "during this important time, as the eve of the new millennium approaches . .
          . unity among all Christians of the various confessions will increase until
          they reach full communion." John Paul II, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 16





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        • James McGrath
          ... Actually, I think that the phrase in the bosom of is, like the old English word abreast , a way of saying next to , alongside . That certainly seems
          Message 4 of 19 , Jul 8, 2001
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            --- Ken Durkin <ind.fin.choices@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Reclining not simply "next to" Jesus but "on" Jesus.
            >
            Actually, I think that the phrase 'in the bosom of'
            is, like the old English word 'abreast', a way of
            saying 'next to', 'alongside'. That certainly seems to
            be the way it is used in Luke and in its two
            occurrences in John. Further evidence is found in a
            papyrus fragment (and if I'm not mistaken also in the
            Apostolic Constitutions) where the phrase occurs 'in
            the bosom of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob'. Needless to
            say, unless the three patriarchs are lying down and
            the other person is lying across them, then the
            expression must mean something like 'alongside'. :)

            James McGrath







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          • Ken Durkin
            From: James McGrath ... The closeness is emphasized and the disciple s head falls back while lying on the breast of Jesus to
            Message 5 of 19 , Jul 8, 2001
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              From: "James McGrath" <jamesfrankmcgrath@...>

              > --- Ken Durkin <ind.fin.choices@...>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > Reclining not simply "next to" Jesus but "on" Jesus.
              > >
              > Actually, I think that the phrase 'in the bosom of'
              > is, like the old English word 'abreast', a way of
              > saying 'next to', 'alongside'. That certainly seems to
              > be the way it is used in Luke and in its two
              > occurrences in John. Further evidence is found in a
              > papyrus fragment (and if I'm not mistaken also in the
              > Apostolic Constitutions) where the phrase occurs 'in
              > the bosom of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob'. Needless to
              > say, unless the three patriarchs are lying down and
              > the other person is lying across them, then the
              > expression must mean something like 'alongside'. :)
              >
              > James McGrath

              The closeness is emphasized and the disciple's head falls back while lying
              on the breast of Jesus to look at him face to face and ask the question. The
              reader is aware of the meaning of "in the bosom" as an expression of
              intimacy between Father and Son from 1:18. Common sense says the expression
              "in the bosom" is more than just "alongside". A child lies in the bosom of
              its mother. The expression means intimacy and here, a close physical
              intimacy. The Douay and the Authorized are closest to my translation:

              (Douay 1609) Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples,
              whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him: Who is it of whom
              he speaketh? He therefore, leaning on the breast of Jesus, saith to him,
              "Lord.

              (Authorized 1611) Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples
              whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask
              who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto
              him, "Lord.

              This one misses the point entirely:
              (Good News Bible) One of the disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was
              sitting next to Jesus. Simon Peter motioned to him and said, "Ask him who he
              is talking about." So that disciple moved closer to Jesus side and asked,
              "Who is it Lord.
            • James McGrath
              ... Dear Ken, Common sense tells different things to different people, especially those speaking different languages and living in different cultural contexts.
              Message 6 of 19 , Jul 8, 2001
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                --- Ken Durkin <ind.fin.choices@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Common sense says the expression
                > "in the bosom" is more than just "alongside". A
                > child lies in the bosom of its mother. The
                > expression means intimacy and here,
                > a close physical intimacy.
                >
                Dear Ken,

                Common sense tells different things to different
                people, especially those speaking different languages
                and living in different cultural contexts. The same
                common sense you are using in relation to what I take
                to be a Greek expression, might tell a modern German
                that an English speaker who mentions 'columns of
                soldiers five abreast' has in view 'the familial and
                perhaps almost sexual closeness that is an aspect of
                the rigours of military life together'. Of course,
                this person is reading more into the word 'abreast'
                than a native speaker would. There are plenty of
                words and expressions that we use as part of set
                phrases in which we are essentially unconscious of the
                word's meaning independent of that context. (What does
                a parkway have to do with parks or parking?)

                > This one misses the point entirely:
                > (Good News Bible) One of the disciples, the one whom
                > Jesus loved, was sitting next to Jesus. Simon Peter
                > motioned to him and said, "Ask him who he
                > is talking about." So that disciple moved closer to
                > Jesus side and asked, "Who is it Lord.
                >
                >
                Again, it misses the point only if the words 'in the
                bosom of' were not a set expression. The linguistic
                evidence (in particular its use with more than one
                person as the object) suggests that it was precisely
                that - a set phrase, an expression, an idiom. The
                point is then not about Jesus' bosom in and of itself,
                but of the sitting next to, in a place of honor
                alongside. This, at any rate, I take to be the point
                in all 3 Biblical occurrences.

                Looking forward to discussing this further,

                James McGrath







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              • James McGrath
                John, Thanks for your message. I think my confusion was due to the difference between the modern of way of reckoning days and the traditional Jewish one. The
                Message 7 of 19 , Jul 9, 2001
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                  John,

                  Thanks for your message. I think my confusion was due
                  to the difference between the 'modern' of way of
                  reckoning days and the traditional Jewish one. The
                  meal on what we would call 'Passover Eve' (i.e. the
                  day before Passover, after sundown) would in fact have
                  been part of Passover day according to Jewish
                  reckoning.

                  Could this tie John together with Paul? If the
                  Passover lambs were slain 'on the Eve of the
                  Passover', then Paul may well have been aware of the
                  same dating for Jesus' death as John suggests and as
                  the rabbinic literature records. Would it then be
                  conceivable that Mark could have been preserving a
                  traditional association with Passover without having
                  the same Jewish background to understand the
                  chronology of the events linked to Passover?

                  Thank you for helping shed another glimmer of light on
                  a perplexing issue!

                  Best wishes,

                  James McGrath







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                • John Lupia
                  To James McGrath You re very welcome James. Luke 22,7; Joh 13,1; Matth 26,17; Mark 14,12 all say the same thing as I explained about Passover Eve. This was
                  Message 8 of 19 , Jul 9, 2001
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                    To James McGrath

                    You're very welcome James.

                    Luke 22,7; Joh 13,1; Matth 26,17; Mark 14,12 all say the same thing as I
                    explained about Passover Eve. This was their way of expressing this
                    according to the cultural idiom.

                    Cordially in Christ,
                    John
                    <><

                    John N. Lupia
                    501 North Avenue B-1
                    Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA
                    JLupia2@...
                    <>< ~~~ <>< ~~~ <>< ~~~ ><> ~~~ ><> ~~~ ><>
                    "during this important time, as the eve of the new millennium approaches . .
                    . unity among all Christians of the various confessions will increase until
                    they reach full communion." John Paul II, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 16





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                  • Yuri Kuchinsky
                    ... recorded history have held this view of John s chronology and used leavened bread asour Eucharist for this reason.
                    Message 9 of 19 , Jul 10, 2001
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                      Steve Puluka wrote:

                      >> I would note again, that the Eastern Churches from the earliest
                      recorded history have held this view of John's chronology and used
                      leavened bread asour Eucharist for this reason. <<

                      And on Sat Jul 7, 2001, John Lupia replied in,

                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johannine_literature/message/1770

                      >> The Catholic-Orthodox tradition is Johannine. John Paul II
                      concelebrated this liturgy in Ukraine a few eeks ago partaking of the
                      eucharistic using this "matter" and "form". It is OUR tradition. <<

                      John,

                      It's clear that Jn is a quartodeciman gospel. The differences with the
                      Synoptic chronology have never been resolved satisfactorily.

                      True, in recent centuries, Rome has adopted the Eastern Orthodox
                      liturgical tradition alongside its own rather different Western tradition.
                      But, still, the historical differences between these two traditions should
                      not be minimised. In particular there seems to be a certain contradiction
                      between Jesus, according to Jn, being the Passover Lamb, killed at the
                      same hour when Passover lambs were sacrificed in Jerusalem, and Jesus
                      partaking of the Passover lamb.

                      Best wishes,

                      Yuri.

                      Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto -=O=- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku

                      It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than
                      to put out on the troubled seas of thought -=O=- John K. Galbraith
                    • John Lupia
                      ... I assume you mean St. John s Gospel represents Passover falling on Nisan 14. Passover did fall on Friday Nisan 14, which means that the Pesach Eve Seder
                      Message 10 of 19 , Jul 10, 2001
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                        Yuri Kushinsky wrote:

                        >It's clear that Jn is a quartodeciman gospel.


                        I assume you mean St. John's Gospel represents Passover falling on Nisan 14.
                        Passover did fall on Friday Nisan 14, which means that the Pesach Eve Seder
                        (Last Supper) was celebrated on Thursday Nisan 13.

                        >The differences with the Synoptic chronology have never been resolved
                        >satisfactorily.

                        This is only a problem with those researches that have not, IMHO, properly
                        understood the chronology of the Synoptic tradition having a conformity and
                        consistency with St. John. This is unfortunate and indeed creates confusion
                        and division. However if you examine the Synoptics you will find that they
                        all agree with St. John and the Last Supper fell on Thursday Nisan 13, the
                        Pesach Eve Seder. This understanding forms the basis of the teaching found
                        in The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1333 "Faithful to the Lord's
                        command the Church continues to do so, in his memory until his glorious
                        return, what he did on the eve of his Passion: "He took bread . . ." "He
                        took the cup filled with wine . . .'. Note that the Last Supper is the
                        "eve" of Jesus' Passion which fell on Passover as stated in 1096 "For
                        Christians, it is the Passover fulfilled in the death and resurrection of
                        Christ". Now since the Catholic Church officially teaches Christ was
                        crucified on Passover (Friday Nisan 14), and all four Gospels relate how the
                        Last Supper was the previous evening it only stands to logic and reason that
                        it was on Thursday Nisan 13 "the Pesach Eve (Erev) Seder". Even if one were
                        to find alternate interpretations they would still have to agree that this
                        above chronology as I understand it and as held by the Catholic Church is
                        indeed possible. So, if it is possible why look for disconcordance where
                        there is none?


                        >True, in recent centuries, Rome has adopted the Eastern Orthodox
                        >liturgical tradition alongside its own rather different Western tradition.

                        >But, still, the historical differences between these two traditions should
                        >not be minimised.


                        The Eastern Orthodox liturgical tradition is Catholic in every respect and
                        is part of the Catholic tradition. This is not a recent development. I
                        suggest you research this issue. I think what you are confusing is the
                        different liturgical rites within the Church. The Roman Rite uses
                        unleavened bread, whereas numerous Oriental Rites all use leaven bread. All
                        of these are Catholic traditions and conform to the official doctrine on the
                        Eucharist.


                        >In particular there seems to be a certain contradiction
                        >between Jesus, according to Jn, being the Passover Lamb, killed at the
                        >same hour when Passover lambs were sacrificed in Jerusalem, and Jesus
                        >partaking of the Passover lamb.


                        Please elaborate on this.


                        Cordially in Christ,
                        John
                        <><

                        John N. Lupia
                        501 North Avenue B-1
                        Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA
                        JLupia2@...
                        <>< ~~~ <>< ~~~ <>< ~~~ ><> ~~~ ><> ~~~ ><>
                        "during this important time, as the eve of the new millennium approaches . .
                        . unity among all Christians of the various confessions will increase until
                        they reach full communion." John Paul II, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 16





                        _______________________________________________________
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                      • Yuri Kuchinsky
                        ... Well, John, this is the problem as I see it. According to Jn, Jesus is already arrested before the Passover meal has taken place. But according to the
                        Message 11 of 19 , Jul 11, 2001
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                          On Tue, 10 Jul 2001, John Lupia wrote:
                          > Yuri Kushinsky wrote:

                          > >But, still, the historical differences between these two traditions should
                          > >not be minimised.
                          >
                          > The Eastern Orthodox liturgical tradition is Catholic in every respect
                          > and is part of the Catholic tradition. This is not a recent
                          > development. I suggest you research this issue. I think what you are
                          > confusing is the different liturgical rites within the Church. The
                          > Roman Rite uses unleavened bread, whereas numerous Oriental Rites all
                          > use leaven bread. All of these are Catholic traditions and conform to
                          > the official doctrine on the Eucharist.

                          Well, John, this is the problem as I see it. According to Jn, Jesus is
                          already arrested before the Passover meal has taken place. But according
                          to the Synoptic chronology, Jesus eats the Passover meal.

                          As you correctly point out, the Roman Rite uses unleavened bread, whereas
                          numerous Oriental Rites use leavened bread. Why this difference? In my
                          view, the difference arose because the Oriental Rites seem to assume that
                          the Last Supper was not a Passover meal.

                          > >In particular there seems to be a certain contradiction
                          > >between Jesus, according to Jn, being the Passover Lamb, killed at the
                          > >same hour when Passover lambs were sacrificed in Jerusalem, and Jesus
                          > >partaking of the Passover lamb.
                          >
                          > Please elaborate on this.

                          See above.

                          As to your question about the genealogies, these are two extended passages
                          from Mt and Lk that, to my mind, give clear evidence of this material
                          being later than AD 50. (Although, this subject is probably off-topic on
                          John_Lit-L.)

                          Best regards,

                          Yuri.

                          Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku

                          Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority,
                          it is time to reform -=O=- Mark Twain
                        • Thomas W Butler
                          Dear Steve, Sorry it has taken so long for me to reply to your last message. Your point is well taken that the Last Supper is not specifically identified in
                          Message 12 of 19 , Aug 9, 2001
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                            Dear Steve,
                            Sorry it has taken so long for me to reply to your last message.
                            Your point is well taken that the Last Supper is not specifically
                            identified in the FG. You note, however, that the symbols that
                            are clearly associated with it DO appear in the text. I submit that
                            the symbolism is so consistent and clear that the writer(s) were
                            assuming that the readers were already familiar with the tradition
                            and would get the point. The stories of the annointing and the
                            footwashing in chapters 12 and 13 are clearly set within the context
                            of the last supper, even though the FG does not describe that meal
                            in detail.

                            Yours in Christ's service,
                            Tom Butler

                            On Sat, 7 Jul 2001 07:01:12 -0400 "Steve Puluka" <spuluka@...>
                            writes:
                            > ----- Original Message -----
                            > From: "Thomas W Butler" <butlerfam5@...>
                            > > However, within the context of the narrative world of the
                            > > Gospel of John, the symbolic meaning that is the theological
                            > > foundation for the Passover meal can be found in the material
                            > > associated with the meal that Jesus shared with his disciples
                            > > on the night in which he was betrayed. The meal may not have
                            > > been the Passover, strictly interpreted, but the meanings of
                            > > that meal and all that Jesus is reported to have communicated
                            > > in that context is a re-constitution of the Mosaic theology
                            > > of the Passover.
                            > ---------------------------------------------------------------
                            > Dear Thomas,
                            >
                            > I would quibble with this interpretation. In reading John's
                            > narrative on
                            > the night that Jesus was betrayed I am struck by the LACK OF A MEAL.
                            > There
                            > is no food mentioned, other than Judas tipping his hand. Rather, I
                            > see that
                            > the Eucharistic symbolism we find in the synoptic tradition has been
                            > moved
                            > to points earlier in John's Gospel, the bread and the fish for
                            > example.
                            >
                            > I think that we are so familiar with the synoptic picture of that
                            > meal that
                            > we transfer the image to John's story, when it is not there.
                            >
                            > Steve Puluka
                            > Cantor Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church
                            > Mckees Rocks PA
                            >
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