Sunday, May 17, 2009

63. St. John the Baptist (New Parish Name TBD)

NOTE: In 2015 this church merged with Church of the Holy Cross 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 name is currently TBD.

(mass times & church info last updated 03/22/2016)
Address: 210 W. 31st St. (@ 7th Ave.)
Phone: 212.564.9070
Weekend Mass Times: 
Sat: 4pm
Sun: 9am, 10:30am, 12pm, 5:15pm
Weekday Mass Times: 
Mon-Fri: 6:45am, 7:45am, 12:15pm, 5:15pm
Sat: 12:15pm
Sat: 11:30am-12:30pm, 3pm-4pm
Mon-Fri: 7:15am-7:45am, 11:45am-12:15pm
Mon-Fri: 11:55am, 4:55pm
Sat: 12pm
Exposition: M-F: after the 12:15pm Mass
Benediction: M-F: 5:05pm
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Novena Mass: Wed: 6:30pm
All Night Vigil (Our Lady of Fatima):
The Friday before the First Saturday: 9pm-6am
Blessing With the Relic of the True Cross:
Fridays following the 12:15pm and 5:15pm masses
Church Constructed: 1872

Official Website
The Padre Pio Shrine at the church
Prayer Garden at the church
About the Organ
Yelp reviews
About St. John the Baptist

I am an incredible imbecile; a child requiring constant guidance, prone to distraction, destruction and desperation; in need of God, holding and leading me. Without God I am nothing, capable of so much horror; and with God, I am somehow kept safe from myself.

Single again, I am the inevitable failure: incapable of maintaining relationships because of my own issues or theirs.  I walk these streets alone again, in darkness towards light, turning towards God, praying to be lead me down the right path, toward some kind of ultimate end, towards salvation.

For what have I here without God? Empty streets, broken bottles, Radiohead?

Early on I committed one or two mistakes but for the most part, on the whole, I was decent - better than normal.  I was good and did all things accordingly. Yet, for whatever reasons, this time once again, it's not happening. There are many things I have to offer, but those qualities of mine, which some may find so attractive, do not offer her a house, provide for her or make her feel secure. Loser is too strong (and silly) a word. Inept waste, perhaps?

Such was my mood when I attended St. John the Baptist this morning...

It's a really wonderful church, actually - complete with meditation garden in the middle of midtown Manhattan. I know many Catholics that work in this area often attend daily mass at this church, or try to catch a breather from the world - this is the place to do just that.

Ironically, all the readings today focused on love. Love of the Father for us, we for the Father and one another. The priest giving the homily, Father Salvatore, even quoted Bacharach's little song: "What the world needs now, is love sweet love, not just for some, but for everyone." It was one of the best sermons I've heard in a while - but I believe part this was in part to the fact I was really listening. Loving each other is truly so easy - then why in practice is it so difficult?

I thanked Salvatore for his words and then enjoyed the benefits of the meditation garden. I also prayed to Padre Pio - there is a shrine to Pio here. My brother, back home now in the town I group up in, divorced and unemployed, has recently come back to the church in large part due to his admiration of Pio.

The sky outside, fittingly, is grey today, and my mood, brightened momentarily by my encounter with St. John the Baptist church this morning, dims again. Things for me had seemed okay, and now, once again I'm unsure. She was a good, beautiful, thoughtful, Catholic, and I even got along well with her family.

Also - I loved her.

"Can't get the stink off, he's been hanging round for days, comes like a comet, suckered you but not your friends, one day he'll get to you and teach you how to be a holy cow, you do it to yourself, you do and that's what really hurts, is that you do it to yourself, just you, you and no one else, you do it to yourself...Don't get my sympathy, hanging out the fifteenth floor, you've changed the locks three times, he still comes reeling through the door, one day I'll get to you, and teach you how to get to purest hell..."


  1. I can only assure you of agreement that St John the Baptist is a beautiful church, of the prayers of a fellow young Catholic, and of her appreciation for your blog. God bless!

    1. Except I cannot understand why one can no longer find photos of the Statue of St.Anne and her arm relic in this church, even though they still hold the annual Novena to St. Anne for her feast on July 26!

  2. I bumped into your blog b/c I was searching for pictures of The Church of the Good Shepherd for my own blog :) I hope you don't mind me borrowing them.

    Anyway, I love your words. I want you to know that I am also a very imperfect Catholic trying to discover my faith and God's love. Know that you are not alone.

    God bless. You are in my prayers.

  3. I feel bad you're going through this. I know it doesn't help (know from experience) but you're not alone. There's a lot of us that have gone through the same thing. I've wanted to post this all day.
    Hang in there. I hope it can be repaired between you.

    Second, thanks for this wonderful blog.

  4. So glad Church of the Good Shepherd is getting some attention. As a parishioner, I can tell you it's a wonderful church and the new pastor has brought some great energy. It offers a reverent Mass, serious and well prepared homilies, and an open invitation to all. Also, it's run by one order, which is different than most churches and I feel it makes a difference in continuety.

    1. hello where is the church of the Good shepherd. i will be visiting New york in september. God bess you all

    2. Good Shepherd is located way uptown at Broadway and 207th street:

  5. To: dellbabe68

    My family and I visited Good Shepherd and fell in love with it and with Father Abbatiello. He is so warm and kind. My children were so captivated by him that they drew pictures and made thank you cards and sent it to him. Anyway, just a little

    On a side note, this blog has inspired me to visit more churches in my area. Unlike NYC we have to drive everywhere in VA, but I think it'll be worth the extra effort. I think this will be my special thing with the kids this summer. Thanks for the great inspiration!

  6. Happened here by accident, looking for midtown RC churches, and loved your web site. So helpful to us out-of-towners looking for mass. Thanks, and God bless!

  7. I'm going to NYC this weekend for the Cotto - Margarito fight in the 'Garden.' Definitely going to this wonderful church on Sat. for the 12:00 mass. I'll consider this as one of my highlight experiences...And it's right across the street from the Garden. Nice!!

  8. View the new mural paintings at St.John the Baptist church: