Sunday, January 4, 2009

51. Our Lady Queen of Martyrs

Address: 91 Arden St.
Phone: 212.567.2637
Weekend Mass Times: Sat: 5pm, 5:30pm(Spanish); Sun: 8:30am, 10am(Spanish), 1pm, 11:30am(Spanish)
Weekday Mass Times: M-F: 6:30am(Spanish), 9am, 7:30pm(Spanish); Sat: 9am(Bi-lingual)
Confession: Sat: 4-5pm
Our Lady Queen of Martyrs School

The Cult of the Virgin Mary in NYC

EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

With audacity and change in the air this upcoming year, I brave the city again (traffic, weather, the bezigness of life) to visit the rest of the NYC Roman Catholic churches. Will I complete this quest before year's end? I want to see them all and continue this experience. Some call me "church-hopper" or indecisive. Really, I am thirsty and, as of now, unfulfilled - and I journey onward praying to find that which I am looking for or to have my eyes opened to discover I have already found it.

Having finished my own move, I have now helped my girlfriend move into her own new place in the wonderful neighborhood of "Little Haifa" up in the 180's, meeting most of her family in the process. I have to say I like them quite a lot. My roommate and I were talking last night how there is typically a direct inverse correlation between how much you like a girl and how well you get along with her parents. This specific situation appears to be the exception to the rule as I like her quite a bit and got along splendidly with her mom and dad. The entire family is very sweet and if I allow my mind to wander too far into the future I catch glimpses of asking her to be part of my family and can see myself fitting easily within her own.

She and I visited Queen of Martyrs this weekend as we were interested in finding some of the churches around her neighborhood (which of the churches I've already visited include St. Elizabeth, and Church of the Incarnation.)

It's another smaller basement church found below a school. I've been to several but I think it's one of her firsts and she remarked to me how even though it wasn't as "exceptional" in architectural design or decor as some others out there in the city, it is beautiful in other ways - the readings and sermon were real and tangible, and there is a certain spirit and sense of community one feels when being here.

During the Mass, a man came and sat behind us, a man with a deep gravelly voice, a loud voice, unafraid of singing and at first this voice distracted me, taking me away from my "experience" until I realized this voice was part of that experience. I began thinking what if this is the voice of God, always there but seldom listened to? What if, for the first time, I was finally hearing it? I believe the priest then told the story, a story I have since heard again from the unlikeliest of sources, of the monks at a monastery who receive a visitor who tells them the Messiah is among them - and the monks soon act differently towards each other and themselves, a heightening respect and admiration for all. It all made me think of how when I exit this church I need to, in the realest sense, walk out with the voice of God with me and the respect for all whom I encounter.

The Mass ended and my girlfriend and I eventually walked out into the brightness of the cold January day hand in hand - this thought with me then as it is now.





9 comments:

  1. I'm glad you had a nice experience at this church -- I actually went to the school you mentioned and basically grew up in this church and I can tell you that the feeling of community is something a lot of other churches don't have and it's nice to see that someone visiting for the first time can feel that! God bless.

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  2. l. my mom n dad were married here december 1st 1951. it is a beautifulhurch.

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  3. Of all churches I have even known, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs truly did have the most awesome community. I was in that neighborhood a few years ago, working, and regularly visited. I was treated as family although they knew I was there for one month, was not Catholic, nor did I practice any religion. I attended masses, prayed at the church, and consider it not only a model of what Christ had in mind when I used the word church. I too felt the presence of the Lord.

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  4. i love this church i did my first communion in this church i really thank god and the teachers especially Ms.Maria Martinez best wishes to the missionaries and the others i know that everybody is going to miss Fr.John Paul a.k.a (J.P.)but this is a chance for other people to experience Fr.JP at least he would be a pastor best wishes to everybody love one of the people that love that church

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  5. i love this church i did my first communion in this church i really thank god and the teachers especially Ms.Maria Martinez best wishes to the missionaries and the others i know that everybody is going to miss Fr.John Paul a.k.a (J.P.)but this is a chance for other people to experience Fr.JP at least he would be a pastor best wishes to everybody love one of the people that love that church

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  6. this is a great church when you go there they give you love and special trearment.this is the best church in new york.

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  7. Thanks for these great pics! I also attended this school for 7 years (1977-1984) Brings back great memories!

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  8. We moved from Inwood many years ago but this weekend we decided to check out La Marina what memories then I said let's go to OLQM where I attended school and we were married 44 years ago what an overwhelming experience flooded with so many memories. The church today looks truly beautiful and well taken care of.Thank you all

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