Sunday, March 9, 2008

20. Grotto Church of Notre Dame

 (mass times & church info last updated 03/10/2016) 
Address: 405 W. 114th St. (West of Morningside Park)
Phone: 212.866.1500
Weekend Mass Times:
Sat: 5:30pm (English)
Sun: 9:30am (Amsterdam Nursing Home), 10am (French), 11:30am (English), 1pm (Spanish), 5:30pm (English)
Weekday Mass Times:
Mon-Fri: 12:05pm, 5:30pm (both English)
Sat: 12:05pm (English)
Confession: Sat: 4:30pm (and by appointment)
Pre/Post-Church Activity: Walk through Morningside Park
Official Website
Columbia Catholic Ministry
Morningside Heights Site
Marian Shrines in the U.S.


I am going on a journey, you see, that you cannot attend with me, you cannot come along, as it is you I am going to see.

I have, for the past few weeks, tried to decipher why I am so exhausted despite my Lenten sacrifice of giving up alcohol. Seemingly, restricting myself from the toxins of the drink, I should be energized and invigorated. Yet, I go through each day feeling numbed, foggy and removed. I've been told this is because I use drinking to deaden myself to things, and now without that buffer and distraction, I find myself inundated with these things that tire me and wear on my mind.

In church tonight, I felt the lights on the ceiling were all too bright - everything in the place seemed bright and clear. I wondered, am I like some infant - new to the world for the first time, beginning to see clearly and tired by all the information pouring in?

This Grotto Church of Notre Dame is a beautiful structure. One of the best looking churches in the city. It has a rock/grotto backdrop serving as the altar, pristine statues and a calmness. The priests are all Polish, I believe, but I don't think any Polish masses are celebrated here. I've been here before, as it's right around the corner from my house, and sometimes I have trouble understanding the priests during the homilies - however the rest of my experiences here have always been great.

There is a garden outside and peace within.

From the Fodor's Review:
A French neoclassical building (1911), this Roman Catholic church has a grand interior, including a replica of the French grotto of Lourdes behind its altar. It once served a predominantly French community of immigrants, but like the neighborhood, today's congregation is more ethnically diverse, with Irish, German, Italian, African-American, Hispanic, and Filipino members.

*Having been Baptized a month after birth, proceeding with Penance and the Eucharist in grade school, and dropping out of Confirmation classes while in high school because I just couldn't stand being in that classroom back then and there, I have decided to begin Adult Confirmation here in New York.

Additional Photos...


  1. Thank you for posting this - I am in the choir at Notre Dame and very much consider it home, and perhaps you might find it welcoming as well, especially since you are in the neighborhood.

    Reading you posts I very much relate to your experiences and assure you that I struggled mightily for years with booze; if you wish, you can read a bit of my unfolding story of sobriety and faith at my blog.

    God bless you; I'll keep you in my prayers.

  2. Oh thank you for these amazingly lovely photos. They're absolutely exquisite.

    I'm not an alcoholic but I can also experience Notre Dame as exceedingly bright, as if it's filled with too much for me to take in. But it's my parish, the place of my confirmation when I was 16 and the church to which I returned after a silly sojurn in the Anglican Communion.

    Fallen Sparrow and Dawn Eden introduced me to your blog and I do hope you come back to ND and introduce yourself. Are you planning to participate in RCIA at ND? Fr. Jacek Kopera though Polish, has an excellent command of English and is an amazing teacher - he tells the truth.

  3. Drusilla, Fallen Sparrow and Dawn Reader - thanks for your comments as well as your thoughts and prayers - they are all much appreciated. Unfortunately I won't stop back by ND anytime soon (except possibly for a weekday Mass) as I've many more churches in the city to discover before I come to rest. I must say, I believe your prayers have already begun working. More to follow in my next entry...

  4. Love the pictures you have posted. I enjoy photography and was raised Catholic and went to Holy Name school for eight years. I guess I'm a lapsed Catholic. Trying to get back, but I suffer from terrible depression and that gets in the way of life. Lately I've thought a lot about just ending it all; I know it's a sin. Just wanted to say your pictures are beautiful.

  5. whoa...anonymous...I just found this blog and your post...NO ENDING IT...lets me at this beautiful church one Sunday for mass!!!

  6. Entered this church today while the rosary and other prayers were being said. I was standing under the statue of the sacred heart while those prayers were being said. Wow just brought tears to my eyes.