Friday, July 3, 2009

66. St. Monica (Now the Parish of St. Monica's, St. Stephen of Hungary, St. Elizabeth of Hungary)

NOTE: In 2015 the churches of St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Stephen of Hungary closed down and were merged into the church of St. Monica as part of the Archdiocese of New York's great closings & mergers of 2015. St. Monica's will be the main church open for regular Masses and other events, although St. Stephen's is currently open for an 11:30am Sunday Mass (see here). This combined parish is called the Parish of St. Monica, St. Stephen of Hungary, St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

(mass times & church info last updated 04/04/2016) 
Address: 413 E. 79th St. (@1st Ave.)
Phone: 212.288.6250 or 212.288.6251
Weekend Mass Times:
Sat:  5:30pm (English)
Sun: 7:30am, 9am, 10:30am, 12pm (all English)
Sun: 11:30am at St. Stephen of Hungary (English) (Until further notice)
Weekday Mass Times:
Mon-Fri: 7:30am, 12pm (both English)
Sat: 12pm (English)
Sat: 5pm, or anytime by appointment
Rosary: After all weekday Masses
Every Friday after the 12pm Mass until 3pm, with Benediction following the Divine Mercy Chaplet
Divine Mercy Chaplet: 
Mon-Fri: 3pm
Miraculous Medal Devotion: 
Mondays after each Mass
Official Website
About the Organ
About St. Monica


Well, it happened again. I journeyed far to the East side to attend St. Monica's 12pm daily Mass (joyously having today off for the holiday weekend - how I love these three day weekends,) and upon arriving I found the main church closed for renovations (painting, in this case) and Masses being held in the downstairs "church" (really just a basement with altar, chairs and a priest.) But it's all right, you know? I realized this being my first time back in attendance in almost a month, it brought my focus more to the actual ceremony and celebration of the Mass - the Word, the Eucharist, and prayer - a good thing.

I liked it down there today, an Indian priest leading the liturgy, I enjoyed the calm of us 10 or so gathered together, enjoyed receiving the Sacrament, enjoyed quiet prayer time for my friends, family and complete strangers. Somehow, in the blur of the last month, I allowed my Metrocard to expire and so on the M101 bus today became "that guy" who walks around with two dollar bills in his hand begging for quarters - forgetting the price had just gone up to $2.25! I was able to find two wonderful women who helped me out, one who was willing to loan me that extra quarter - it was in thankfulness for her generosity and for her that I prayed, and for a lesson learned: carry change with you when going to the bus, either for your own sake or for someone else's.

I'm beginning to suspect that some of my friends may have discovered this blog and that I am the author. If this is true, than it puts my writing in an uncomfortable position. This anonymity that the web offers is a strange sort of security blanket. If there are those that I know who know it is me writing and read these words, then I feel I may not be able to be as honest as I'd like. Not that I'd ever write anything down here that I shouldn't be able to tell anyone to their face, but no doubt I have done just this and it's my own damn fault for "diarying" in public. More like diarrhea-ing, eh? I wonder if it's better for me to find out for sure (from them) that they know, rather than just suspecting it, as it's already influencing my writing anyway. Or is it better for me to come clean? To admit I have this crazy, rambling secret which has become just one of my many addictions. Either way - if they do already know, or if people I know are to find out one day, how will I feel? Embarrassed? Guilty? Caught?

After Mass, I snuck into the main church and was able to take a few of these pictures below, before a man in coveralls on his lunch break shooed me away. The statues were shrouded, scaffolding and paint tarps covered every inch of the place. But still, it's beauty shone through.

Additional Photos...

Five years ago when I first visited this church, the main sanctuary was kept from me. The renovations had shut us out. Except for these 3 dark images above, I knew nothing about how the place would look. Well, I'm happy to report that after five years (that have flown by, quite frankly), this church is painted anew and it's beauty obvious to all who enter. I've had my own renovations (spiritual, mental and emotional ones, that is) and I feel as different today than then as the pictures differ from above and below. Enjoy these new images of the Church of St. Monica (that poor woman, who spent years praying for her reckless son thousands of years ago.)

1 comment:

  1. its a truly beautiful church me and my husband got married here, the monsignor recently retired I came here 6 years while
    I lived in NYC