Sunday, April 27, 2008

24. St. Joseph (Yorkville)

(mass times & church info last updated 04/24/2016)
Address: 404 E. 87th St. (between 1st and York)
Phone: 212.289.6030
Weekend Mass Times: 
Sat: 4pm (English)
Sun: 8am (English, no music)
10am (English, but German Mass on 1st Sundays)
12pm (English, with choir from September-June)
2pm (Hungarian)
6pm (English)
Weekday Mass Times: 
Mon-Fri: 7am, 12:15pm, 6pm (during Lent) (all English)
Sat: 8am, 12:15pm (both English)
Confession: Sat: 3:30pm-3:45pm
Rosary: Thursdays at 6:30pm in either the church or rectory
Lectio-Divina: Every other Thursday at 7pm in the rectory
Post-Church Activity: Beers at Heidelberg
Official Website
About the Organ
German Catholics in Manhattan
About St. Joseph
Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Joseph
The destruction of another St. Joseph's
United States' Catholic Catechism for Adults
Making A Good Confession
How To Confess
Mortal vs. Venial Sin
A listing of sins
Another listing of sins
St. Joseph (Battery Park City)
St. Joseph (Chinatown)
St. Joseph (Greenwich Village)
St. Joseph of the Holy Family (Harlem)
- - -
-great little german church-

Pope Benedict XVI visited here last week during his New York Tour and I wonder if he found it to be as peaceful as I did.

The Saturday 4pm mass, I have to say, has quite a few older people in attendance, though I did see a few young faces - and heading to the Heidelberg Restaurant afterwards was way too much fun to have on a Saturday afternoon. My main focus of this week's visit wasn't necessarily to view the art or structure of the church, though again, it is another beautiful gem of Manhattan Catholicism, it was of a more reconciling nature.

- - -
A few days ago...
A whole whole lot on my mind this week that doesn't necessarily have anything to do directly with St. Joseph's in Yorkville, but read on and you may see the connection...

Girls never want to just be friends unless it is I who am pursuing them...

If anything is true about me it is that I am a sinful sinful man. I've just recently broke up with another sweet gal who was beautiful and smart and sexy and a good person. My problem is I keep ending these relationships with these great girls because I feel I can do better. What an ass I am! On the way down, knowing it would end soon, I ended up kissing another girl, who I stupidly began to think I could end up with, happily, all because she was Catholic and nice, and beautiful, completely disregarding the bigger picture that she and I didn't have a whole lot of other stuff in common and that she is one of those people who constantly busy themselves running from activity to activity with very little room to breathe because every action has got to have some point, some purpose; idle time to sit and to wonder doesn't really exist for these people. And perhaps I am just jealous of this type, perhaps I have all too much time on my hands and am currently unhappy with my life, my situation. Today, having gotten only a few slim hours of sleep because I had to spend time in the bars last night with my friend who was in town and forced myself to awake early this morning to have breakfast with this girl - a strange breakfast, by the way, in which I was realizing I probably didn't even really like her like I thought I might as she went on and on discussing the busy, varying and dizzying details of her life, and after which she told me she didn't want a relationship - I walked around in a daze, a zombie-like shuffle, in and out of extreme moods that dipped to despair and alighted at the top of the world

i think somebody had to be praying for me somewhere

and I felt utterly alone, without friends or a home or a future; with family far away, with people here in the city that I know either moving away or losing touch - it's like a countdown to city anonymity. I am in the middle of indecision. I have discerned I do not want to be alone for my life (ala the priesthood) but it seems I can't get too close to others either.

Because this girl was Catholic I tricked myself into believing that everything else I wanted from a relationship would evolve naturally - ignoring a host of problems right around the corner. It is indeed best she doesn't want the relationship to happen, it saved us both from a few uncomfortable months of boy/girl fights and troubles - however, it did hurt, my feelings were bruised, I was rejected on some level and though it saved us from an ultimate catastrophe, it in itself and today was a minor catastrophe.

What's worse is this girl is my Confirmation sponsor.
- - -
Attending Confirmation classes has been very enjoyable thus far. I'm learning a bit about the Church and with friends in grad schools and continuing ed classes, I feel like this is my own bit of continuing ed. I can't really see myself going to class for any other degrees; I might go for some additional skill sets and knowledge in my profession, but outside of that the only thing I'd really want to do is progress further along in theological studies. But again, I am not going to be a priest, my God, I want a wife, I even have three names for my daughters already picked out. But perhaps there's something in the religious field in my future - theologian someday, or maybe a deacon?

Something that struck me the other day while reading my catechism was that the candidate for confirmation should be in a state of grace - without serious sin.

I realized suddenly that before my confirmation date rolls around, I will need to go to confession - a sacrament I have not received in 6 or 7 years.

I know there's many Catholics out there who have, like me, neglected this sacrament, however, I now plan on making at least one confession prior to my confirmation and then maintaining this practice regularly. This comes straight from my catechism book:

"Despite society's efforts to downplay the reality of sin, there is an instinctive recognition of its existence. Children generally know, even when not told, when they have done something morally wrong. Adults readily admit the evil of terrorism, unjust wars, lies, unfair treatment of people, and similar matters. Society as a whole must also learn to admit the evil of abortion, physician-assisted suicide, and obtaining stem cells from embryos, which results in the death of embryonic human life. Denying evil corrupts us spiritually and psychologically. Rationalizing our own evil is even more destructive."
It's time I admit to what I have been doing

- - -
After Mass and confession...
After 6 years, it feels good to get things off your chest. Waiting in line for the confessional, however, I felt kind of gross, and sick in the pit of my stomach. I was nervous. It is no easy task to admit you have done something wrong, and it's even harder to admit your sin to God, even though He already knows it. And it's difficult to tell all these things to a man of God. And when I reflected on my sin and what I would say, I realized that I was most likely sharing the same other things that everyone else tells him - because we all suffer from a condition, the human condition, and it is all so difficult to live on this planet and do everything correctly - we are flawed and we fail and we get up again just to fail all over. But, yet, there is God's grace and providence and forgiveness and with all that, God help us, maybe we can get along and fail a little less, striving and moving towards what God wants from us.

- - -
"You believe in the Angels, or the saints. Or that there's such a thing as a state of grace. And you believe it, but it hasn't anything to do with reality."

-Sean Penn in State of Grace (*Perhaps misquoted slightly)


  1. I used to go here. You said that there were a lot of older people mean at other churches in the city there are more people in their 20s? Part of why I haven't been back to church I think may be because I don't feel like I fit in amongst families with their kids or retirees. If you know of a place for a lost, awkward dude in his 20s, be sure to let me know, eh?

  2. Notre Dame in Morningside Heights has a lot of young people especially since it serves the Columbia University student population.

  3. Yes, why is Notre Dame not among the listings here?

  4. The weekend Mass schedule has changed since this was written: It is now 4:00 on Saturday (still populated by older people, but with some younger ones as well), and Sundays at 8:00, 10:00, 12:00 and 6:00.