Sunday, February 24, 2008

18. St. Anthony of Padua

(mass times & church info last updated 04/03/2016) 
Address: 154 Sullivan St. @ Houston 
Phone: 212.777.2755
Weekend Mass Times:

Sat: 5pm (English)
Sun: 9am, 11am (both English)
Weekday Mass Times: 
Mon-Fri: 8am, 12:10pm (both English, in chapel)
Holy Days of Obligation:
8am, 12:10pm, 7pm (all English)
Confession: Saturdays: 4pm-4:45pm
St. Anthony Novena:
Tuesdays after daily Masses
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal & St. Jude Novenas:
Wednesdays after daily Masses
Post-Church Brunch: Jane
Official Website
Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Anthony of Padua
Catholic Online: St. Anthony of Padua
Wikipedia: St. Anthony of Padua


Thoughts of mine, this third Sunday of the Lenten season:

If my social life and mindset is typically so framed by the consumption of alcohol, that which I have given up these forty days, and I find myself at a loss Friday and Saturday nights with what to do with myself, planning a major drink-a-thon come Easter day, so much as to go to bed the night before with a bottle of Jameson with which to wake up to, what really is the point of this sacrifice?

I feel tired without the drink - as if it offers me some other-worldly power and energy. I realize I don't need it for some of the things I feared I may require it for: being outgoingly social, growing steadily melancholy with self. However, I miss it dearly and know I do indeed need it for another thing. Deadening myself to the onslaught of the world.

In all past relationships, alcohol has offered me a way to anesthetize my mind and body so that the one I see before me becomes the one that I always wanted, when it fact, she is only the one before me. Now, sobriety forces me to drug myself in other ways. Lying to oneself is a remarkable feat of humanity, don't you think?

And I do not know what I am to expect from this life. Is it more than mere moments of joy and beauty and sadness and love? Is it more than 40 hours a week and friends and family? Tell me it's more than television and taxes and blogging...

I don't know why I can't just love her or the other one or all of them. I don't know why it's so hard to break away from her either - why I can't just walk away. I know there's biology and emotion and mentalness tied up into everything, but knowing she isn't the one, if there even is the one, should make it somewhat easier - but I am weak and average and normal. Certainly not the cop fighting the system. Not the politician offering hope. Not the saint doing what is before me.

I don't know what I am.

Despite these bleak outpourings, I must say, St. Anthony of Padua Church is one of the brightest in the city, and a perfect place to go to mass on a Sunday followed by brunch at any of the nearby cafes, restaurants and coffee shops with a dear sweet friend who is, just like myself, plagued with issues and conundrums.

additional photos...

After a long hiatus I am trying once again for a big final push to finish taking nicer photographs of the churches I visited near the beginning of this journey. I have about 8 left after this. I visited this church for the third time today and it was a nice experience. My girlfriend who I've been with for over a year and a half went with me. A while back I let her in on the secret of this blog, and I commented to her today that it was nice that she was with me for the last part of this journey, that began as a search for God and for love.

St. Anthony of Padua is just one of the many locations in Manhattan that was affected by the recent Hurricane Sandy. They were without power all last week.  Today they had a second collection for the Diocese to assist with hurricane relief efforts. Contact them here if you want to find out how to assist them further or to ask what can be done.  Two other great organizations to donate to are New York Cares and the Red Cross

And finally, here's some better photos of this beautiful church...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

17. Church of the Holy Cross (New Parish Name TBD)

NOTE: In 2015 this church merged with St. John the Baptist Church as part of the Archdiocese of New York's great closings & mergers of 2015. Both churches will remain open for regular Masses and other events. This new combined parish name is currently TBD and a website for the church/parish is forthcoming.

(mass times & church info last updated 03/22/2016)
Address: 329 W. 42nd St. (between 8th and 9th)
Phone: 212.246.4732
Weekend Mass Times: 
Sat: 4:30pm
Sun: 8:30am, 10am, 11:30am
Weekday Mass Times: 
Mon-Fri: 7:30am, 12:15pm
Sat: 12:15pm
Post-Church Activity: Go to Ikea
Holy Cross: Wikipedia


Like a lot of buildings in this great city, the Church of the Holy Cross' exterior down in the Times Square neighborhood is covered with scaffolding. Upon entering one finds an old church, complete with organ and surrounding balcony. Those churches with that upstairs portion that hangs over the pews are always so dark inside.

Strange being in a house of faith and worship so near the corn and consumption of Times Square. The cantor of the mass was a gentleman with such a strong deep voice, I had to wonder if he was some kind of broadway performer. Then, during the mass, I begin to think of how funny it would be if the service turned out to be a musical with a name like "Church of the Holy Cross" - you enter in the theater district, no ticket but faith required and not always that - your admission is paid halfway through the production at a strange intermission where you don't arrise, but the ushers come to you with long poles holding baskets for your admission alms. I eventually focused my mind back on the service at hand and not some made up world that continues on in my mind always.

My Lenten non-drinking is ongoing and there's nothing that difficult about it, although Friday night when a friend came to town I was perplexed as to what to do with him. We actually did end up going to a bar, I was fine with drinking Coke and buying him shots, however when I realized the soft drink was going to cost me $3 I was pissed. What kind of bar...? I guess they need to make their money and have no room for free loaders, but come Easter and beyond I certainly won't go back there. To be a good bar, you gotta give your customers something...

Tonight, my friend Patrick came over. He and his wife have also given up booze for Lent. It was 6:30pm and we couldn't think of a damned thing to do that didn't involve drinking. It is such a heavy, ingrained part of our lives, to go out, enjoy libations, inundate our thoughts and heads with the drink and to see where we go from there. And now that option is gone to us and we don't know what to do with ourselves.

I had to go to Ikea today in Jersey by way of the free weekend Ikea bus that operates out of the Port Authority. That's part of the reason I chose this church on 42nd street. I woke early, rushed to church, arrived late, mass passed fast somehow, I took some pictures with my phone and then headed to the bus terminal, made it to the superstore, bought some things, got a ride back, made it home, started making furniture and then my day went on from there. The actual going to Mass part of the day had happened so quickly and was so uneventful that I had to keep reminding myself that I had gone to church already - and that got me to thinking. I felt great that I had been that morning and received Communion. Rather than making it the penultimate event of the day, I had just moved it to an important portion. That's exaclty what church and religion and faith should be - laid in one's life as a cornerstone that must exists and works as a foundation to all other things.

(additional photos...)

(the scaffolding has come down!)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

16. Church of the Annunciation

(mass times & church info last updated 03/07/2016)
Address: 88 Convent Ave. (near 131st St. and Amsterdam)
Phone: 212.234.1919
Weekend Mass Times:
Sat: 7:30pm (Spanish)
Sun: 8am (English), 9am (Spanish), 10:30am (English), 12pm (Spanish)
Weekday Mass Times:
Mon-Sat: 7:30am (English), 9am (Spanish), 7:30pm (Spanish)
Confession: Sat: 4pm
Official Website
The Annunciation
The Feast of the Annunciation


This church sits on the West side of Harlem and the 10:30 mass I attended seems to have a great deal of school children attending. I feel I missed out on something, however, as the priest directed the bulk of his sermon toward the kids.

Lent has fallen upon us and I have finally given up for these next 40 days what I feel is one of my deepest pleasures - drinking. I don't feel it will be hard at all - I feel it may be deeply enlightening.

Additional Photos...
*Coming back today to snap photos I realized this church is absolutely gorgeous, more so than I remember, and definitely more than the original photos above did justice.  I hope these do a little more...