Monday, October 29, 2007

3. St. Paul the Apostle Church

(mass times & church info last updated 04/24/2016)
Address: Corner of Columbus Ave. & W. 60th (Office: 405 W. 59th. St.)
Phone: 212.265.3495
Weekend Mass Times:
Sat: 5:15pm (English, cantor)
Sun: 8am (English, cantor), 10am (English, choir), 12:30pm (Spanish, Coro Hispano),
5:15pm (English, Young Adult MassYA Choir)
Weekday Mass Times:
Mon-Fri: 7:30am, 12:10pm (both English)
Sat: 8:30am (English)
Sat: 4pm-4:45pm
Tue, Thu: after the 12:10pm Mass
Fri: after 7:30am Mass w/ Benediction at 12pm
Servicio de Oracion Para los Enfermos:
Ultimo viernes de mes 7:30 p.m. (Septiembre a Junio)
Official Website
Beautiful Architectural Images of St. Paul's
About the Organ
Wikipedia Entry About St. Paul's
Paulist Fathers Website
Wikipedia Article On Isaac Hecker, Founder of Paulist Fathers
Wikipedia Article About St. Paul
Daily Catholic Bible Readings
Busted Halo

During the academic year, this church offers a great 8pm Sunday Mass for Fordham University (Lincoln Center Campus) and the congegration during this Mass is typically a mix of students and non-students alike. I'm not a student and I enjoy it very much and I always see young couples with children and older people attending as well - so I assume those that go enjoy it for the same reasons I do - it's a peaceful way to wrap up a weekend/start up the week. As I mentioned in my last entry, those Sunday night masses always make me prone to an emotional experience. The three priests that I've seen when I've attended this church before have all been great (though one reminds me a great deal of James Lipton from Inside the Actor's Studio.) The church is beautifully decorated and the architecture is thrilling (consult above links to find out more.) So once again, the Mass provided some stability in my (lately) crazy and precarious life and by the time I entered into it's soothing atmoshphere right before the priest walked down the aisle, I was practically yearning to be there, sitting kneeling praying, waiting to take Communion and feel more at peace than I had been. Again, as always, it's girls, booze and Mass that are twirling around in my head.

On Saturday I attended a daily Mass and Benediction again (that same girl was there from last week - and yes she offered me as much distraction as she had before.) The first reading came from Romans, Chapter 8: "For those who live according to the flesh are concerned with the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit with the things of the spirit." As soon as I heard it, that word "flesh", my mind dwelt on those things I have concerned myself with of late - worldy, fleshy things. My desire for the spirit is strong still, but with each action I take towards the worldy, I am killing that other more beautiful part within myself. "The concern of the flesh is death, but the concern of the spirit is life and peace. For the concern of the flesh is hostility toward God; it does not submit to the law of God, nor can it; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God." Not only do my actions kill me, they are hateful towards God, who I strive to love. "But you are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you."

My head was spinning from a week that eventually spiraled away from me. My two good friends, both devoted and loyal Red Sox fans, called me out with them on Thursday to watch World Series Game 2. We found a nice chill pub in the West Village and as I was drinking some beers with them I began snapping out of the terrible, wretched feeling and mood I had been in for the last 3 weeks. Into the 5th, Boston was doing well, a great Flamenco guitarist from Spain was playing on stage, we were laughing and I walked up to the bar to grab another beer when I met her. In stage plays there's that moment when the action is suddenly focused on just one character and slowly the rest of the stage fades away and a hard spotlight hits the protagonist of the moment - that's what it was like. My friends and the game and everything else in the bar went away, went dark, and it was only her and I there, chatting each other up, both of us having already drunk too many and just beginning to drink too many more. Later I turned around just in time to see my friends leaving for the night. Her and I kept it up and ended back at her place and I woke up there in the morning.

"You are not in the spirit..." What grief I put upon myself! My intentions are typically to do what is right and often moral, so how is it I allow myself to slide and willingly go with her? In the past I have behaved in far simpler and far more innocent ways and felt horrible about it, Catholic guilt and all that. This time, nothing. It becomes worse. Saturday night I found myself in Williamsburg at a Drive-By-Truckers show. After the show I was headed to a friend's Halloween Party, but I was just quickly stopping by this one bar with my friend who had gone to the show with me. On my way out of that place I ran into another girl - literally almost ran into her and we suddenly had our arms around each other and before I knew it I was ditching the party, everything was going dark, I was heading home with her and once again spiralling away. "...on the contrary, you are in the flesh.

"...the concern of the flesh is death..."

Additional photos...


  1. Andrew - I just read your blog associated with
    St. Paul the Apostle Church. One of my favorite saints is St. Monica. She followed her wayward son relentlessly; following his trail of licentiousness and self-absorption, praying and imploring for Him before God every step of the way. A bishop finally gave her some relief when he told her "the child of those tears shall never perish." Of course her son was St. Augustine. I have not fully read his book Confessions, though I think it is a good one for earnest Catholics (and all other brothers and sisters)who struggle with the world and how to let it decrease and Christ increase. Thank you so much for your extensive work here - you are a gift to us travelers to NYC who are looking for churches in the different neighborhoods. I ask God to bless you and keep you close to His Sacred Heart.

  2. About to visit St. Veronica's in the morning. My mother's parish as a child. Just checked St. Paul's here because you mention its young crowd. Concerning your comments I think we all just have to deal with that constant pull of the flesh and do our best to return to the Spirit. If we are believers the Spirit will always remain in our hearts.As they say at the start of all Latin Masses; I will go unto the altar of God; the God of my joy and my youth.