Sunday, April 26, 2009

61. Sts. Cyril and Methodius and St. Raphael's (Croatian)

(mass times & church info last updated 04/04/2016)
Address: 502 W. 41st St.
Phone: 212.563.3395
Weekend Mass Times: 
Sun: 9am (Croatian), 10am (English), 11am (Croatian)
Weekday Mass Times: 
Tue-Sat: 8am (Croatian)
Confession: Sundays and Holy Days before Mass
Liturgy of the Hours: 
Tue-Sat: 8am
Church Constructed: 1902

Official Website
Architectural Images
About the Organ
Flickr Photo
Great exterior shot of the church before it was covered in scaffolding (and before The Victory apartment buildings went up) can be found in one of these posts...
About Saints Cyril and Methodius
About Saint Raphael


I attended the 11am Croatian Mass today at this church of Saints Cyril and Methodius and St. Raphael. By the way, the extra long name and reason for three patron saints, I discovered, is because Cyril and Methodius were brothers, famous missionaries to the Slavic people, and are typically shared patrons of churches and often shown together in religious art and iconography. In 1974, the parish of Sts. Cyril and Methodius merged with the parish of St. Raphael. Interestingly enough, and something I didn't know, Raphael is one of three named archangels out of seven (the others being Michael and Gabriel.)

I was overwhelmed by how packed this church was (and it's a fairly large church, far on the west side of the island) with its community members, all of whom seem livened and celebratory in just being there. It seemed like a strong community too, as I took it all in from my standing room only position in the back of the church. As the Mass ended, it seemed the congregation could barely control themselves any longer as they burst into greetings and conversation - one of the priests, who was about to perform a baptism, actually had to quiet everyone down and ask them to get moving so the family of the infant could have their Christening in peace.

I was also taken in with the beautiful singing of the choir above (above my head, directly actually) so much so that I decided to record a bit of it and have included it here in the link above. Very heavenly experience in being here this morning/afternoon.

The church is immense with a lot of art, and ceilings and just about everything to look at. Unfortunately, for the time being the only bad view is the one outside, as the building is currently covered in scaffolding.

The weather has finally warmed in the city and after church I headed to Central Park to meet up with some friends. There were a lot of people out picnicking in Sheep's Meadow but I have to admit I found the Park somewhat annoying today, and frankly a lot of the conversation in my group quite dull - fashion and gossip mainly. These were some of my girlfriend's friends - delightful, pretty and nice, but girls I don't have that much interest in spending time with (outside of the fact that my girlfriend does.) An afternoon like this, stuck in between various Manhattanites on one side, with the sun coming down hard, and these girls on the other leads me to wonder how someone sweet and real like my girlfriend enjoys spending so much time with people whose favorite topics to pass the time somehow (to me) seem so empty and vapid.

I don't know - maybe I'm just being a prick. Most of my topics of interest probably bore the shit out of people.

The afternoon did turn around, however, when later I found myself, for the first time, in the middle of Inwood Park - what a paradise in the city it is! I enjoyed the rocks, the trees, the water, walking around, playing, and we happened into a great little restaurant later on, The Indian Road Cafe. All the many events of the day carried me off, made me feel as though I were countries or worlds away from real life here - almost as if I was back in some kind of coma dream I used to think I'd fallen into, a kind of state of unconscious where everything and everyone from every moment in your life make strange cameo appearances in a surreal land of make-believe events that could never happen in reality. Sometimes this is my coma dream, sometimes its the day-to-day in this monstrous metropolis.


  1. I saw the exterior of this church while passing through NYC yesterday. I was taken away by it. It reminds me of St. Anne's Church in Waterbury, CT. To me, church architecture is so beautiful and amazing. All of the church furnishings are amazing, too. I love the magnificent high altar, as well as the many murals that cover the church's walls.