Saturday, May 24, 2008

28. St. Catherine of Siena (Now the Parish of St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Catherine of Siena)

NOTE: In 2015 this church merged with the church of St. Vincent Ferrer 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 is called the Parish of St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Catherine of Siena.

(mass times & church info last updated 04/04/2016) 
Address: 411 East 68th Street @ 1st Ave.
Phone: 212.988.8300
Weekend Mass Times:
Sat: 5:15pm (English)
Sun: 9am, 12pm, 5:15pm (all English)
Weekday Mass Times:
Mon-Fri: 7am, 12pm, 5:15pm (all English)
Sat: 12pm (English)
Mon-Sat: 11:30am-11:55am, 4:40pm-5:05pm 
Mon-Sat: 11:40am 
Sun: 3pm 
Liturgy of the Hours:
Mon-Fri: 5pm
Sun: 11am-11:45am
Wed: 12:30pm-5pm
Thu: 12:30pm-5pm
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Prayer Group: 
Wednesday following 5:15pm Mass
Queen of Peace Prayer Group: 
Sat: 9am
Constructed: 1897
Official Website
About St. Catherine of Siena
Dominican Friars Blog - Surprise Papal Visit
Art Images of St. Catherine

It's embarrassing, and I am sorry to write, that an ex-girlfriend and I were both given a ticket yesterday by two undercover NYPD officers for drinking beers on the subway - open container violations. Now, it is only a violation and a minor fine to pay - no "real" trouble but it's so damned depressing. I followed up this despicable behaviour with further destructive and irresponsible action when I went with my ex to her apartment, continued drinking and ended up hooking up with her - an act that fills me with guilt because I no longer have any intention of maintaining a relationship with her (though I had strongly desired a friendship, something I now realize - stupidly delayed - that boys and girls really can't "just be friends" when these things end) and feel I have acted terribly and possibly given her the wrong idea of things. Further, why did I even put myself in that stupid stupid position? Drinking nonstop, alone at her place - completely susceptible to sin.

And today?

Confession, of course. Some of my non-Catholic friends look strangely upon the sacrament of Confession - seeing it as a bizarre Catholic loophole where one may freely commit sins, readily confess them, and it is like nothing ever happened - but it is different than that. When I confessed today, more than my penance or the priest's kind words and reflections on my actions, what struck me and stuck to me the most was the absolution. He said, "now be forgiven and remember to forgive others as Christ has forgiven you. Be forgiven and go in peace. Go in peace."

He must have seen the worry I wore on my face and knew I was probably making a bigger deal out of things than I should have been. The whole point of regular confession is consistent reflection on your actions and morality - a good thing. And it is a reminder to you that God forgives - and you too should forgive others - also a good thing. And so I was reminded of this. Reminded of the value of forgiveness and the moral path one should attempt following.
It's my second confession in the past six years and this big brick church offered me a grand place in which to sit and reflect before entering the confessional. This is another massive building - the brick structure reminds me of a monastic church - there are tons of incredible statues of saints, the stained glass windows present a beautiful color scheme against the dark arches.

After Mass, I walked from the East side to Times Square - a trip in itself.

Walking around this city, it is difficult to see one's place in the grander scheme of things. Are you what you do, your occupation? Are you your faith? Are you what others see you as being? Are you a montage of these things? Do your friends make you who you are - are they a reflection?

It is easier than imagined to lose oneself in the anonymity and magnitude of the city. And everywhere, in every corner, everyone is attempting to be so damned individualistic - and everyone is just coming out wholly the same. And we seek answers on this sticky web - we post our thoughts whether others wish to know them or not; we sell our belongings and even ourselves on Craigslist, internet dating sites; we broadcast shadows of this life and this society on Youtube. And when we are done posting, we begin consuming it all up again.

We are losing ourselves in ourselves, in our pride and obsession with ourselves, in this mess we've piled up on the earth, on the web and in our heads.

- - -

P.S. - I need to just add something.  Once arriving in Times Square last night, I went to see the new Indiana Jones movie.  Awful. Honestly, just awful.  Now I am a big fan of the original 3 movies and I know recently I've heard a lot of arguments that if you go back and watch them, they don't stand up that well, the acting isn't terrific, the new one is just as good as the other 2 sequels - that is all horse shit!

This movie had plot holes big enough to drive a desert tank convoy through.  Harrison Ford was off about 95% of his time in the movie - his delivery on most of his lines was terrible - very unlike the other 3, the dialog itself wasn't very good, the filmmakers had scenes that make Indiana look very goofy.  Marion Ravenwood character was wasted - she spent the whole time just smiling - the interaction/romance between her and Indy didn't develop very believably -and why drag John Hurt's insane character and the constantly-trading-allegiances-only-when-the-plots-needs-it-to-happen Mac along all the way to the end?

There was (of course - damn you George Lucas!) way too much CGI in the whole film to make it an authentic and believable Indiana Jones movie - way too much soft "Barbara Walters" lighting prevalent during the entire mess, obvious sound stage scenes - it was all just really depressing to watch.

The original 3 films were fun, the "real" location shots made it all the more believable, they required a suspension-of-disbelief you were ready and willing to give, whereas this new travesty requires one that you're embarrassed to put forth.

All in all, the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a blight on the franchise and a reminder that what runs this whole machine we are a part of is down and dirty money.  This movie will bank the millions or billion dollars that the Paramount execs expect, George and Steven will tell themselves that they've done a good job and move on to produce further catastrophes, and soon we may even convince ourselves that it wasn't all bad, and ignore its inherent bad qualities which we all down deep know are truly there.  

Such is this life and the world we live in - and thanks to this new movie, even other worlds we used to be able to escape into have been tainted, vandalized, ransacked, sacrileged.

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