Saturday, August 29, 2009

71. St. Stephen of Hungary (Now the Parish of St. Monica, St. Stephen of Hungary, St. Elizabeth of Hungary)

NOTE: In 2015 this church closed down and was merged with the church of St. Monica (as well as the church of St. Elizabeth 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 below). 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: 414 E. 82nd St. (between 1st and York)
Phone: 212.861.8500
Weekend Mass Times:
Sunday: 11:30am (English) (Until further notice)
Church Constructed: 1928

Original Website
New, Official Parish Website
About the Organ
New York City's Hungarian Churches
Little Hungary in NYC
St. Stephen of Hungary
Wikipedia: Stephen of Hungary

St. Stephen of Hungary is a small church located on the upper east side. As soon as you walk in you notice the huge beautiful stained glass behind the altar of St. Stephen of Hungary and his vision of the Lord and Holy Mother Mary - possibly an interpretation of this Hungarian king's call to conversion? This window is in fact, a focal point of the entire building, everywhere you move within you see it, can't seem to look away from it actually.

The second reading explained that all good and perfect gifts come from above, from God. I must not forget this, ever. Must not ever forget.

Must not.

I am fuzzy again today and the church and entire experience at first seemed just...very...slow. The priest's words were slow to get started then suddenly in the middle of the homily I felt myself wrapped up in them. Reflecting on the Gospel he reminded the congregation that we must not simply pay lip-service to God, our faith, or the Church. We must not simply show up each week for Mass without any other actions. These words were for me.

I've been trying to tell people lately that the Catholic church (and Christian faith), at its purest, if practiced correctly and done right is actually a very liberal, open-minded, and GOOD institution - the problem is that having been left in the care of human beings, the (often incapable) hands of humankind has done fucked up a bunch of its basic teachings, social responsibilities, not to mention tons of other things that detract from its very core and existence.

I need to figure out my place in the Church to do what I can to help maintain those good qualities and to even spread this thought I have above; to answer God's call and serve my place, whatever that may be; to perform my duty, fill my role.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

70. Church of the Epiphany

(mass times & church info last updated 03/09/2016)
Address: 239 E. 21st St.
Phone: 212.475.1966
Weekend Mass Times: 
Sat: 4pm (English)
Sun: 8am (English), 10am (English / Family Mass), 12pm (English / Adult Choir), 7:30pm (English / Adult Contemporary)
Weekday Mass Times: 
M-F: 8am, 12:10pm (both English)
Sat: 8am (English)
Confession: Sat: 3pm-4pm, and by appt.
Every Wed: Following the OLPH Novena
First Monday: After the 8am Mass
First Saturday: 3pm
Exposition: Sat: 3-3:45pm
Miraculous Medal Novena: Monday after each daily Mass
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Novena: Wednesdays after 12:10pm Mass
Constructed: 1967
Official Website
Greenwich Times article about the church
Article About the Church's Consecration: NY Times 1887
About the Organ
The Epiphany

After a bit of a summer break - palate cleanser if you will - I am back in the city, heading back out into it, constant thoughts fighting each other and rattling around in my big stupid head, yet I am mostly at a loss of where to begin, what to write down.

There is so much to write, but perhaps, this time, it is best to be direct, exact, and save some of the heavier mumbo-jumbo (self absorbed hogwash!) for another entry to come.

"What can God do for us?"

The priest asked the congregation this question at Epiphany Church this week. I attended the 4pm Mass (such a convenient Mass to have in the middle of a Sunday! Late enough to do your Sunday morning thing, but not too late,) and was slightly distracted throughout the experience: for one thing I had stayed out quite late last night for a friend's last night in town - she's off to Divinity school, a place I often wonder if I should end up - and my head was fuzzy because of little good sleep and the way the night ended - a long story for another or never time. In addition to this, I was seated next to a child and his parents and the mother was so rough and manic in her disciplining (unwarranted, unkind, unknowing methods) that I just couldn't truly focus on the celebration happening on the altar.

I kind of floated through the Mass, not wholly present - unfortunately, because I found Church of the Epiphany to be a gorgeous modern church, constructed of a beautiful ashen gray brick, the design outstanding, reminiscent of St. John the Evangelist to me for some reason, perhaps because it is another modern east side church. The parish has been around since the 19th century, but (I learned from one of the links above,) a five-alarm fire destroyed the original building in 1963; this new building was completed in 1967.

The priest was terrific. He was African. He sang the Gospel, in a soft sweet off key, and his message was good.

The general meaning of the answer to his stated question can be found in the readings of the day when one questions themselves and therefore the answer is the same and yet different for each of us. Part of it for me, when I think upon it, at this point in my journey: everything imaginable.