Sunday, March 30, 2008

22. St. Benedict the Moor (CLOSED)

NOTE: As of April 2016 I heard that this church closed about a year ago. I'm not sure if this was due in part to the Archdiocese of New York's great closings & mergers of 2015. If I am mistaken or you have any further information on St. Benedict the Moor church either continuing to be open or not, please let me know by leaving a comment in the comments section below. If you're looking for a similar nearby church to this one, check out Sacred Heart of Jesus parish.

(church info last updated 04/04/2016)
Address: W. 53rd St. (between 8th & 9th)
Phone: 212.265.5020 (Sacred Heart of Jesus' phone number)
St. Benedict the Moor
Catholic Online: St. Benedict the Moor
Wikipedia: St. Benedict the Moor
Hell's Kitchen History

If you call the number above you will reach the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church - again, I believe they are conjoined somehow - if anyone is out there you can post a comment and let us in on the tale - as always, I tire easily of research...

As far as I know there is one Mass offered here at St. Benedict the Moor each week and that is Sunday at 12:30pm in Spanish. This is a small, clean, simple church and one very easy to find peace within. It appears renovated and even though I did not understand the language of the Mass, of course I could follow along with the ritual of the service, and participated in Communion and stuck around and took some photos.

Once again, a very nice NYC church - especially one you should visit if you live in the area and speak Spanish.

Go ahead investigate, there may be weekday services too.


  1. Do you have any photographs of the altar in St. Benedict the Moor?

  2. Sorry, I don't. For some reason didn't take one.

  3. Oh that's a pity. For some reason I have always been facinated by this church, but as I live in Europe there's not hope of me visiting it. Thanks anyway.

  4. Hello,
    You you know if the church building is the same as in 1883?

    Thank you

  5. As far as I know it's the same building. I found this on the web:
    "St. Benedict the Moor was the first black mission church north of Mason Dixon line. The mission was founded in 1883 at the former Third Universalist Church located 210 Bleecker Street. As the black population migrated uptown, St. Benedict moved, in 1898, into the former Second German Church of the Evangelical Assocation at 342 West 53rd Street. R.C. McLane & Sons designed the building, which was erected in 1869. St. Benedict the Moor for many years primarily served the African-American population of Clinton/Hell's Kitchen.

    In the 1920s many of St. Benedict the Moor's parishioners followed a citywide move of blacks to Harlem. The Spanish order of Franciscans were assigned to the church and the Church rededicated in 1954. Many of the former members filled the Church for its one hundredth anniversary celebrations" Netta

  6. Thank you for the pictures and info parents were married here almost 50yrs ago.

  7. I am flying to NYC in a few weeks for business. I am Christian, and I was hoping to visit a Christian church while on my travels. I have not spoken Spanish for a while, so I might be a little rusty, but I will have to check this church out when I go.

  8. St Benedict the Moor was closed under ADNY's Making All Things New; the Peruvian congregation has been relocated to St Paul the Apostle church on 9th Ave and W. 59-60th St.

  9. St Benedict the Moor was closed by the ADNY under Making All Things New. The Peruvian congregation has been merged into the community at the Church of St Paul the Apostle on 9th Ave betwn W. 59th & W. 60th Sts.