Monday, May 26, 2008

29. St. Vincent Ferrer

Address: 869 Lexington Ave. @ 65th St.
Phone: 212.744.2080
Weekend Mass Times: Sat: 5:30pm; Sun: 8am, 10am (Family Mass), 12pm (Choir), 5:30pm
Weekday Mass Times: 8am, 12:10pm. 5:30pm
Holy Days: 5:30pm (day before), 8am, 12:10pm, 5:30pm
Confession: M-F: 5-5:30pm; Sat: 4:30pm-5:30pm
Liturgy of the Hours: M-F: 7:45am (Lauds/morning prayer), 5:00pm (Vespers/evening prayer)
Additional Links:
- Wikipedia Entry about the Church

- About the Architecture

- More Architecture

- About the Organ

- About St. Vincent Ferrer

- Dominican Friars Blog

- Dominican Foundation Website
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MEMORIAL DAY

I love this city in the early morning on public holidays. There are less people around, it is quieter, there is more a sense of peace and less the sense of hectic city. Once, in fact I believe it was last year on Memorial Day, I woke up around 5am and decided to walk in Central Park - I literally did not encounter a single other person for maybe half an hour. It was the single strangest and most wonderful occurrence I've experienced here. It was even a little frightening - after spending nonstop time around so many others for so long, to finally find oneself alone in some woods in the middle of a metropolis - it was other worldly in many ways.

I decided to go to daily Mass this morning at St. Vincent Ferrer because it had recently been suggested, and also upon looking at the church's website I learned that daily Lauds and Vespers could be attended. Morning Lauds begin at 7:45am and I arrived a few minutes before. From the main church you can hear the Dominican Friars engaged in the prayer - I found it beautiful but slightly difficult to hear. I wonder if it is possible to get closer so you can see them - but I figure no. Once again I am stunned that there is another huge gorgeous church in the city - how many more are out there? It really is amazing. This church - Gothic and Romanesque - is like walking into a different world, or a different time altogether.

It was good for me to be there, receive the Eucharist and sit in some further quiet reflection. After Mass, I walked around, took some pictures and lit a candle in front of a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary (she holds a rosary) and made 3 petitions.

I highly suggest you visit here. My list of favorite churches is in constant flux, and I am rarely disappointed as I stumble upon and discover these holy places.

There is nothing better than a three day weekend (especially when the extra day is a Monday.) You have so much to look forward to the week preceding, and once the holiday weekend is done, you're granted a four-day work week. The three days are always so refreshing, so relaxing, so sustaining.

Web 2.0 is in my thoughts a lot lately. When I arrived back from my volunteer time in Africa about two years ago I was struck with subtle differences between the America I came back to and the one I had left behind. It was only two years of being away - yet a lot of change had taken place. The biggest that had struck me was this new Web 2.0 social networking connectedness everyone was so involved with. I was out for drinks with a friend and some others at a favorite English pub in my hometown and when the bar closed down we were invited to someone's house. I fully expected to sit around the stereo or tv and have a few late night beers, but instead we were lead to this person's computer room and we all sat around his computer watching clip after clip of stuff on his monitor and all I could think about was how much this dude was addicted to his computer and it all made me kind of so sick - the obsession with technology and computers.

Now, about two years later I find myself in the same position as that guy. This machine in front of me which I type away on right this minute has become an obsession - or in the very least a daily practice to rival any sort of religious patronage I partake in. How does one combat this? Do I border on breaking the first Commandment with how often I am on this device and look to it for answers, info, entertainment - everything? I have gone from someone who shied from the mania of the web to someone who now writes this blog, submits videos to Youtube, participates in internet dating, shops online, reads online, watches everything there is to watch online. I am no Ludite at heart or anything like that, I realize this is all part of the natural progression of technology and I see how the rapid transit of information from person to person is a good thing - but there's got to be something wrong with the obsession we all have and which grows in me day to day.

I just don't know.

There's something wrong when I am out meeting friends and I feel a sudden compulsion come over me to get home in front of my computer to "check" in on everything I've been doing webwise. Isn't there? There's got to be something wrong with us all.

And it can only worsen - the more we shy from reality and people and place ourselves in front of these screens, practicing a new kind of worship, placing a new faith in what technology delivers to us, in what it can offer and bestow to us. We should not forget the many things it can never deliver to us, those things which it makes so easy to forget about.

Providence. Grace. Forgiveness. Life itself. And the life beyond this one.

4 comments:

  1. I was reading something about my grandparents that said they were married in St.Vincent's NYC in January of 1912.I do not know which St.Vincent's, Ferrer or DePaul. Can I access records online?

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  2. Hi Steve -

    Someone linked to me once in answering a question about tracking down marriage records. So you can start by going there and reading that response:

    http://genforum.genealogy.com/catholic/messages/636.html

    It looks like you may need to contact the archdiocese or possibly the churches themselves to determine marriage records:

    http://www.archny.org/about-us/records/marriage-records/

    Thanks.

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  3. I need to register at a Catholic Church. I live near 60th and Third. I don't know the closes church, any help would be appreciated.

    Julia

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  4. St Vincent's is the pariah church for the area around 60th St I grew up in St John Evangelist and had to get permission from St Vincent's to be married in St John's in 1960.
    Do you know if there is a church on 47th St either 1st of 2nd Ave. Thought it was St Agnes but it's not.

    ReplyDelete