Saturday, June 21, 2008

32. Our Lady of Peace (CLOSED, but under review)

NOTE: In 2015 this church closed down and was merged into St. John the Evangelist Church as part of the Archdiocese of New York's great closings & mergers of 2015. Only St. John's will remain open for regular Masses and other events. This combined parish is called St. John the Evangelist-Our Lady of Peace Church. However, the parishioners of Our Lady of Peace have been working diligently to prevent their church closure and to remain open to continue their mission to save their beautiful and landmarked church. I applaud this effort as this was one of my favorite churches I visited during my journey, one which gave me much peace. If you wish to help the good folks of Our Lady of Peace, you can find out more about their progress here, or sign this petition to help save the church or join their Facebook page.

(church info last updated 03/25/2016)
Address: 237 East 62nd Street (between 2nd & 3rd sts.)
Phone: 212.838.3189
Links:
Our Lady of Peace Old Website
New Official Parish Website
About the Organ

Another weird experience in church this week, this time verified by a friend in attendance with me. It was just a strange vibe. I decided to go to Saturday Mass because I felt I needed to go to Confession. As always, I misjudged my time allowance and ended up arriving too late for Confession, but right in time for Mass. This church is small and decorated beautifully. It (seems to me) shares Eastern and Gothic decor - but I may be very wrong. The choir and music were also very beautiful - remember how I spoke of churches sometimes carrying me off into that Narnian feeling? The music here accomplished that verily - there was something medieval about it.


I'm not sure how much wisdom or truth or anything of the sort exists in this blog - it's basically a record I keep for myself of churches visited (as well as Mass times, logistics, etc.) and I use it quite often on the go to determine where nearby churches are and when I can attend. I'm not sure who out there is reading my often mediocre writings and dribblings about my typical NYC existence and the base fact that I attend Mass each week - or my slow journey towards peace. I realize though that the best part of this blog is for me - and it does not happen when writing these entries or uploading any of these photos - it happens each time I enter one of these churches and discover a new place of peace, palace of sanctuary. That is the time that is best - and whatever my writing skills are, they suffer from not being able to detail to you, the virtual reader, what I really felt or went through upon entering and hearing the music; or the emotion I sometimes feel during the Eucharist; or the peace that falls over me towards the end of each Mass. These are the truths and wisdoms and beauties I obtain from this entire experience - and I wish I could somehow share that across this blog all the better than I do.


And I highly suggest you do the same. If you live in the city - visit some of these grand and majestic places (no matter what the actual size.) And if you live elsewhere, visit the different houses of God in your own village, town, city, metropolis, country. Sometimes, if you feel yourself spiritually stagnant - a new place of worship - even for one weekend - is enough to revitalize oneself and help you remember the fundamentals of why you go in the first place.

All that said, I realize over my time going to these various churches (these magnificent places and I love them and they offer me welcome and a kind of sustenance I can't describe) I have missed out on that community aspect of faith - of belonging to a church and a parish and a people. This is an excercise in faith and discovery, and lately I have discovered it is a lonely one. There are so many great places I travel to in this city, up and down the subway lines, through tunnels, trains under water, buses across the cityscape - and so often so many of all these activities are so lonesome. New York is a great city, a friendly city, a magnificent and crazy and wonderful and terrible place. But New York can be a lonely city.

21 comments:

  1. I just saw this blog..I was thinking I was the only one church-hopping in NYC. My reason is different from yours, though. I am looking to see which among the parishes are the most-tuned to the current crisis that a lot of Catholic NY'ers are experiencing. Just between you and me..:)

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  2. Hi Anonymous -

    Glad to know you are out there hopping as well. May I ask you a favor? To go ahead and list here some of those crises you are speaking about, and perhaps we can have a bit of back & forth. In my opinion, I see most of the churches I've visited addressing some key issue - direct social-justice assistance/services to their communities, prayer and theological support offerings, increasing acceptance of varied faiths, races, cultures, sexual-orientations into their congregations, etc.

    In my estimation as well, I feel that two of the parishes that do this the best (and I am sorry to leave other parishes out, I happen to be most familiar with these churches,) are Ascension Church at 107th/Broadway and St. Paul the Apostle at Columbus Circle. Have you visited these?

    Take care, hoping for a response, feel free to stay anonymous.

    - Andrew

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  3. This is one lovely church, home-spun. Simple Elegance is the vibe there for me. Love what you are doing, you write well too.
    Thank you
    mama b

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  4. I am so happy you had that good vibe at Our of Lady of Peace, you see I was baptized there, my parents were married there, my dad was baptized, made his Communion and Confirmation there along with his 4 sisters, and my gradparents were married there in the 1920;s, you can imagine the feeling I get when I walk into that beautiful little church. I cry every time. It was actually started by the people who came from a small town in Sicily called Borgetto, which was my grandparents town.

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  5. My father and his sisters were also baptized at this church and my aunt was married there. My cousin remembers a feast they had each year in the neighborhood that she believes was called the Feast of Maria Della Ponte. She said this feast took place in Sept in Partinico, but maybe it was Borgetto. Do you have any information on this?

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  6. Just saw this blog because I was looking for the Blessing of the Animals date at OLP! OLP is my church and I love it. Father Daly is the Pastor and he's the best.

    My great great uncle was also a priest at OLP and my aunt was married here, so I have a special connection to it. I'm so glad that you liked it.

    And yep, NY can be lonesome but it's NYC! :)

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  7. Rest in Peace - Noreen O'Riordan Vall
    Sept. 4, 2011

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  8. I love your blog! I discovered it in trying to find the name of a church I went by last year on my way to Port Authority to return to Boston from visiting my daughter. I'm going home tomorrow after my spring visit this year and thought I would try to go to Mass there in the morning. It was Holy Cross church. But the mass is not the right time for me, so I'll just see if they might still be open when I go by around 9 am. In the meantime i'll go to Our Lady of Victory downtown before heading to the bus depot.

    I love churches too and never thought of doing such an extensive project of yours. You have done a wonderful job! I will certainly visit more when I am next in Manhattan, although we don't venture far from the downtown area. I do always visit churches when I am traveling. I usually go to daily Mass and enjoy being part of a new community even for 1 or 2 days. You have inspired me to visit more churches in my own area, especially ones I have never been in before. When I was a child, i remember that we were told to make a wish when we visited a church for the first time. I don't do that anymore but still love the idea of visiting a new and different church.

    Thanks for your beautiful website. It has already brought me much pleasure and I'll continue to look at it.

    Christine

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  9. I just found Our Lady of Peace today and I'm so glad. Yes it is beautiful and it was very unique in that it had no crucifix but it had something else amazing too. It felt like a place that I could sit and just talk to God. I felt as tho I had just stopped by to visit my friends.

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    1. I am very close to the parish of Our Lady of Peace and I glad you found it. Be sure that it is very special. All are welcome here. Father Daly is a special man, very sincere and real. He has a wonderful sense of Irish humor and he is the reason that all are welcome at Our Lady of Peace. Come and join us, you will be glad you did.

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  10. Hi, the address listed above is:Address: 237 East 62nd Street (between 2nd & 3rd sts.) Right Street, but is between Second-Third Avenues.

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  11. Andrew ... Your blog is inspiring others. Please see Our Lady of Peace Blog. This church has received a preliminary recommendation to be merged into St. Vincent Ferrer, among others, in the Making All Things New realignment of parishes. http://olpchurchnyc.typepad.com/my-blog/2014/09/a-pilgrims-progress-visiting-96-manhattan-churches.html

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    1. Thanks so much! Your blog is quite nice. Good luck with the possible realignment. Please let me know what happens

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    2. Andrew, can you help us? We want to find out the other churches that are being merged or closed.

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    3. I'm not sure how to find out which churches are merging - does anyone else out there know? The archdiocese seems to keep a tight lid on the closings and mergings until the last minute - suspicious. Here's the best I could find on the web, perhaps you could reach out to these writers:

      http://ncronline.org/blogs/grace-margins/preparing-parish-closures-and-mergers-new-york-city

      http://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/westchester/2014/04/29/parish-closings-mergers-coming-archdiocese-retools/8482823/

      http://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/westchester/2014/09/03/cardinal-timothy-dolan-announce-church-closures-mergers/15025863/

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    4. Dear Our Lady of Peace - here is another sad story about a church closing in Iowa (Assumption Parish in Churchville, Iowa), with an argument made that there really should be some discussion to bring in a more diverse mix of priests (married men and women). My favorite quote in the article is from (1989-90) Bishop Emeritus William McManus of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind.: With "all due respect to the Holy Father" (that would have been Pope John Paul II), McManus said, it's time to quit treating the topic of women's ordination and optional celibacy "as if they were some kind of ecclesial obscenity."

      here is the full link to the article:
      http://ncronline.org/news/faith-parish/lack-priests-continues-close-parishes-yet-there-still-no-discussion

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  12. Dear Andrew - here is how you might be able to help: Could you write a current post about the potential closures in Manhattan? As you say, there is a tight lid on the mergers and closures, but the 75 cluster groups in the archdiocese know who among them received a preliminary recommendation. Perhaps among the 96 churches you visited, some will come forward to say so. And thank you for all the other links!

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    1. i'll see what i can do, but i unfortunately don't know all that much about what's going on. i did just see this on Church of the Holy Innocents website [http://www.innocents.com/]:

      "The Cardinal will also be heading to Rome in early October to participate in the Synod on the Family, and did not want to leave the Archdiocese so soon after the announcement is made. In light of these developments, the Cardinal feels it is essential that he has more time to consider carefully and thoroughly evaluate all that has been handed over to him. Hence, the announcement of the Cardinal’s Making All Things New decisions will be postponed to the beginning of November. The original date set to make the announcement was the end of September."

      i gotta say, as simply just a stranger to most of these parishes, the name "Making All Things New" is really irritating to me.

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  13. The title MATN comes from Revelation 21, but in this context, it is a euphemism for redevelopment

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  14. Wow, your description of how you feel during the mass time and in churches in general really gave me chills and i could completely identify with you. Keep up the good work, god bless! :)

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