Saturday, July 11, 2009

68. St. Elizabeth of Hungary (CLOSED, but under review)

NOTE: In 2015 this church closed down and was merged with the church of St. Monica (as well as the church of St. Stephen of Hungary) 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. However, the parishioners of St. Elizabeth of Hungary have been working diligently to prevent their church from closing as they work to save their very, very beautiful church. I applaud this effort as this was yet another of my favorite churches I visited during my journey, one which comforted me greatly. If you wish to help the good folks of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, you can find out more about their progress here, or sign this petition to help save the church or join their Facebook page. If anyone has any info as to whether any Masses are currently being offered at St. Elizabeth of Hungary, please leave a note in the comments section below.

(church info last updated 04/04/2016)
Address: 211 E. 83rd (@ 2nd Ave.)
Phone: 212.734.5747

Old, Original St. Elizabeth Website
New, Official Parish Website
About the Organ
New York City's Hungarian Churches
About St. Elizabeth of Hungary
More about St. Elizabeth of Hungary
Even more about St. Elizabeth of Hungary


According to The Spiritual Traveler, this church was originally a Lutheran church from the 1890's.

I loved it here today. Why is it I find daily Mass so much more appealing than Sundays? Perhaps, because it is the Mass boiled down to its most basic, simplest form. There is prayer, some Old Testament, a Gospel, a quick (sometimes down and dirty) homily of a few direct and poignant minutes, the Eucharist, more prayer and a closing. I always feel so much better and alive when I hit weekday Mass in the mornings, it is the daily vitamin that I need, that daily dose of something vital.

The priest today was fantastic too. I could hear him so clearly. Would that I have some kind of transcript of his words, for they all seemed so precious, yet they flew at me at such speed, hitting me, sinking in, but I could not catch them all to relate them here to you verbatim. I enjoyed the reading today, the last little bit of Exodus which saw Joseph forgive his brothers, stating, "Have no fear. Can I take the place of God? Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve his present end, the survival of many people. Therefore have no fear."

And this part of the Gospel, Jesus' words (Matthew 10:24-33):
"What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father."
It speaks to me, telling - no, reminding - me that I need to strive to proclaim my faith more than I do. I realize, in this task and many others related, I am lazy, slothful (pretty much guilty of all seven deadly sins, in one way or another.)

After Mass, I headed to the Guggenheim again. I enjoyed it, as I typically do, but today realized once you enter here, you begin a journey as you do in no other museum. Walking the ramp, viewing the exhibit, going up and up and up, you are, in a sense, ascending to the heavens of Frank Lloyd Wright's vision. It can be a great experience, especially if you arrive before the crowds and can ascend alone, with some peace and decency. Arriving near the top, I did something fairly meta: sitting on the highest bench, looking down below at the spiral, down into the lobby, I pulled out my iPod for a few minutes and watched a few minutes of the Guggenheim scene from The International - a bad movie for sure, that scene the only reason to put up with the whole thing. It eventually became too weird and bizarre for me to handle, so I walked away, descending the space and out into the fresh air, on a truly beautiful day in the city.

And now, for whatever reason, some friends of mine are meeting up way down Coney Island way. I do not look forward to the trip down, and even less to the trip back. If only I had some kind of magic, flying shoes, or maybe a jetpack.

"Days full of rain,
Sky's coming down again,
I get so tired of these same old blues.
Same old songs,
It won't be long,
Before I'll be trying on,
My flying shoes."
- Townes Van Zandt

Coney Island...


  1. Have you ever tried the Cloisters?

  2. Hi dellbabe68,

    Yes, The Cloisters is one of the most fascinating treasures we have on this island. I love it there. One cannot help but be moved emotionally and spiritually while walking through its gardens, taking in the calm and finding a certain peace, as well as moving through the interior, taking in all the precious art and architecture we are lucky and privileged to view here, so close to home.

    Lately, one of my favorite activities is walking through Ft. Tryon park, passing The Cloisters (perhaps stopping in,) moving on into and through Inwood Park, to the very edge, and viewing all that lies beyond.

    Also - the New Leaf Cafe is a great place for brunch:

  3. I loved the phrase "ascending to the heavens of Frank Lloyd Wright's vision". While at The Cloisters you meet the vision of a whole era, entering an artists mind and his connection to eternity has its own and unique mystical appeal. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Glad you know about it, Andrew. It's a very special place.

  5. Hey, I love what you do. I do almost the same thing ... and the Cloisters is one of my most favorite places. I think we are really drawn to the art & experience of Middle Ages when the church was really huge and powerful. I totally agree with you about daily mass often being a better experience than Sunday ... it's distilled right down to its essence ... and sometimes I really don't like the music or singing (I am very picky about singing and sometimes the singer's voice is really harsh in my ears). I hear you about it being lonely to go to all these churches by yourself ... even when you do belong to one parish it seems that there's not a whole lot of community in NYC. Plus I am youngish (31) and not a lot of my friends go to Mass or even believe in God ... Maybe we should start a Meetup group of like-minded people ...

  6. Andrew, I just went to St. Elizabeth of Hungary on Holy Thursday. What a beautiful church!

  7. we used to go here, too, when we felt St. Monica's was too far it was just one block, it is very solemn and quiet even on Sundays you can hear yourself praying, I feel closer to God here