Sunday, January 27, 2008

14. St. Francis of Assisi

(mass times & church info last updated 04/04/2016)
Address: 135 W. 31st St. (between 6th & 7th Aves.)
Phone: 212.736.8500
Weekend Mass Times:
Sat: 4pm, 5:15pm (both English, organ & cantor)
Sun: 8am, (English, organ & cantor), 9:15am (Korean), 9:30am (English, Lower church), 11am, 12:30pm (both English, organ & cantor), 5pm (English, contemporary ensemble/choir), 6:15pm (English, contemporary ensemble)
Weekday Mass Times:
Mon-Fri: 7am, 7:45am, 8:30am, 11:30am, 12:15pm, 1:15pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm (all English)
Sat: 8am, 11am (both English)
First Fridays: Filipino Community Mass, 6pm (Lower Church)
Holidays: 8am, 11am
Confession (English):
Mon-Fri: 7:30am-9am, 11am-1pm, 4pm-5:30pm
Sat: 11am-1pm, 3:30pm-5:30pm
Sun: 8:30am-9:30am, 4:30pm-6pm
Confession (Spanish):
Tue: 11am-12pm, 4pm-5:30pm
Thu: 4pm-5:30pm 
Rosary: Saturdays after the 11am Mass
Mon-Fri: 8:30am-5pm (Lower Church)
St. Anthony Devotions: Tuesdays after all Masses, starting at 8am
St. Jude Devotions: Wednesdays after 8am, 12:15pm, 5:30pm Masses
Mass & Prayers for the Sick: Thursdays 12:15pm
Stations of the Cross: Fridays after the 12:15pm and 5:30pm Masses
Sacred Heart Devotions: First Fridays after the 12:15pm and 5:30pm Masses
Post-Church Activity: Walked all the way down to Chelsea Piers, had beers and burgers at the Brewery, stared at the IAC building
Official Website
Mystery Worshipper Link
Other Reviews
About Fr. Mychal Judge
Franciscans in New York
About St. Francis of Assisi

I procrastinated today, as I always do, hesitated to determine which church I would visit today and spent about three hours of the day watching the last episode of Ric Burns' New York documentary. This was the supplementary episode made two years after the original program aired in 1999. It was all about the rise and tragic fall of the World Trade towers.

I wanted to visit St. Peter's, located right next to the WTC site as the show put me in a mood to be down in that sad sad area, but there were no more services this evening. It was getting late, already 5pm and I was wondering which church I would attend. Searching through my list of NYC churches and calling up directory numbers to find a later Sunday service, I finally came upon St. Francis of Assisi. I had visited here a few times before, when I had first moved here - then, as I was finding out now, I had always been able to depend on this church.

That's what I would say about this church, St. Francis of Assisi - it's dependable.

There are a lot of services on the weekend and daily during the week.

Also, there is a memorial to Father Mychal Judge, the NYFD chaplain who died on September 11, 2001, when the towers fell.

*My friend, Jack, came along with me this weekend - hence the nice pictures. I've got to get a camera, this Blackberry camera ain't cutting it.

Additional Photos...

Visited this church on my lunch break today, walked in a few minutes late to the 12:15pm Mass only to discover in the summer time the daily Masses are held in the lower church. I walked around and snapped a few pictures, enjoying the art and quiet of this prayerful building. I then proceeded to the lower church and did that really bad thing where I walked right into the Communion line, (having not been present for the Liturgy of the Word), received the Eucharist, and then walked right back out, but not before taking in the beauty of the art of this part of the building. While there is an entire separate shrine down there dedicated to St. Anthony, the whole lower church is also basically a shrine to the life of St. Francis, complete with Stations of the Cross and a Nativity scene set up year round (two devotional practices I believe St. Francis is responsible for), as well as art behind the altar depicting scenes from the saint's life.

Additionally, here's a video from one of my favorite religious websites that was shot in front of St. Francis church...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

13. St. Ann (Now St. Ann-St. Lucy Church)

NOTE: In 2015 St. Lucy Church closed down and was merged into St. Ann Church as part of the Archdiocese of New York's great closings & mergers of 2015. Only St. Ann's will remain open for regular Masses and other events. This combined parish is called St. Ann-St. Lucy Church.

(mass times & church info last updated 03/30/2016)
Address: 312 E. 110th St.
Phone: 646.461.1236
Weekend Mass Times:
Sat: 6pm (English);
Sun: 9am (English), 10:30am (Spanish), 12pm (English), 1:30pm (Spanish)
Weekday Mass Times:
M-Sat: 9am (Spanish)
Confession: Before or after Masses
A Report on the Life of St. Ann


If one thing is for sure after all these posts and these incredible churches and anything I've feebly attempted here, it's that it could be that we are all actually alone here.

Sitting in the back corner, looking into the light of the next room and the screaming weeklies of souls unseen best forgotten, I can't imagine we all belong. There is no belonging; no true longing; everything we truly yearn we truly have.

It's ridiculous not to be one's self; unforgiving feigning something else. And you're lying and dying if you disagree.

I'm a prize in a game.

--great little mexican church--

additional photos...

Obviously I was drunk and in some kind of foul mood the first time I wrote about this church, and therefore selfishly introspective, not offering much about St. Ann parish or the structure. It's such a pretty, beautiful and colorful place. The above images certainly didn't do it justice and neither did my words. Hopefully these new ones give a better idea what it's like, so I offer them below. I visited here for a few moments after I attended a quiet, little morning Mass at Holy Rosary. While at St. Ann, I took a moment to reflect on how different my life is now than the first time I was here. For instance, I now have not only a great, positive and kind girlfriend, but I am lucky to be able to call here my fiancĂ©e as well — and next year we hope to be married at another St. Anne's church. After I took the pictures below, I walked to the third and final church of my morning, Holy Agony...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

12. St. Aloysius

NOTE: In 2015 this church was part of a list of churches in danger of merging with other churches or closing altogether as part of the Archdiocese of New York's great closings & mergers of 2015. This doesn't seem to have happened and this church remains open for regular Masses and other events. If you have any news about this merger or lack thereof please feel free to write in the comments section at the bottom of this post.

(mass times & church info last updated 04/01/2016)
Address: 219 W. 132nd St.
Phone: 917.261.6507
Weekend Mass Times:
Sun: 10:15am (English, Gospel Choir), 12:15pm (Spanish)
Weekday Mass Times:
Tue, Thu: 9am (English, in the chapel)


I walked into this church in Harlem today right on time. I had read about its landmark status, along with that of All Saints church - which I attended a few weeks ago, also a Gospel Mass - and was expecting a large grandiose near-cathedral like church, like that of All Saints. Instead, St. Aloysius is smaller and somewhat quainter - but no less grand.

Please, take the time to look through the above links at the Landmark Designation Commission Report - it does justice in describing what's so special about the architecture. My favorite piece of art in the place was an African Madonna and Child (I hope my ill-suited Blackberry camera does it justice below - but you should go see it for yourself anyway. Though it is a bit faded from the years, it sits right behind where the Choir sings.)

The Gospel Mass was good, though I feel it was missing something the Gospel Mass at All Saints had - even though the church had a more "filled up" feeling. In typical African/Gospel Mass fashion, peace time took a full 5-10 minutes while everyone walked the church shaking hands and delivering well-wishes.

I felt very welcomed here.

Yesterday, I went to a daily mass with Benediction. I was a few minutes late and as I walked in the first reading was just begining. It was from John - Chapter 3, verse 11-21:

This is the message you have heard from the beginning:
we should love one another...
...Do not be amazed, then, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.
We know that we have passed from death to life
because we love our brothers.
Whoever does not love remains in death.
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer,
and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.
The way we came to know love
was that he laid down his life for us;
so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
If someone who has worldly means
sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion,
how can the love of God remain in him?
Children, let us love not in word or speech
but in deed and truth...
...for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us,
we have confidence in God."

I feel I spend most of my time trying to be loved by others. I walk past bums and homeless all the time, without flinching, caught up in whatever my iPod is spitting into my ears. And despite what the rest of the world is trying to tell me, about religion spoiling everything and how we'd be better off giving up faith as a waste of time, I know there is something else there that, for some reason, a lot of the world is ignoring and turning away from. Why do they do this? And what is it I feel?

additional photos...

My wonderful girlfriend surprised me this morning by taking me to this church for the 10am Gospel Mass. As always, nice music. Here's some new photos. Not sure why they turned out a little dark and drab. Perhaps this church is not as well lit as some of the others.