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.


  1. Andrew, I just wanted to say that you have built an amazing resource of information that makes encourages people like me to grow closer to the church. I haven't read all of your blogs but from what I've read, you seem to feel like your "going through the steps" but not really feeling alive and awake. I have built a family in the past 6 years and I feel like I haven't "been there." I have been so caught up in money, self employed and worked my tail off only to have lost money every year for six years!!! I had a couple of million dollars and now flat broke with debt! I have been getting rid of everything we owned but I can't get rid of enough fast enough. I know I need to "wake up" but I don't know the first steps. I look at my family, I promised my daughters Disney Land and now they are just asking to go to the beach. I can't afford to take them to the beach for the weekend. With all of the money I lost in my business I could have been spending with them and afforded them everything as far as Disney Land, private schools, extra activities(coaches ect). Rather I worked myself into the ground and not only not get paid but losing every year for six years. I researched my life insurance and found that I have had it long enough to which if something happens to me my family would be set financially. It's such a catch because I feel like I need to be here for them, I love them with all of my heart but I can't provide them with a even a weekend trip to the beach. I asked Archangel Michael for help and for a sign that he's there and with out going into detail he gave me incredible signs. I am trying to look forward with positive energy but when things fall it brings me back into this twilight zone and the feeling of what I should have done differently ect, ect. I'm not sure why I'm sharing this right now. Maybe because you opened yourself up, and provided something incredible. Keep your head up, keep looking forward and ask an angel to be with you. As you know you have been protected but ask "be blunt" for help in what you feel you need to change. Take care.

  2. Hello -

    Thank you for your comment, and for sharing - and your advice about prayer at the end. You're correct, it is very important to be "blunt" with prayer, but I also feel it's wise to always ask "if it be Your will," when praying to God because there are so many more intricate plans that we can imagine. But thanks, I appreciate your honesty and everything you've said.

    You comment reminded me of a conversation I had with a very dear friend a few months ago (she's a close female friend of mine who I've known for years, and we actually may be getting into something, though it would be long distance as she lives in Los Angeles - but more on that later, sorry for my digression...) I was feeling completely down in the dumps over my ex-girlfriend and our break-up, as she had made me feel somewhat worthless and told me she felt like I could never provide for her or protect her. This comment of hers, above all, is what destroyed us, to be honest. I shared this with my friend, and told her all my fears about future relationships because I felt like any girl I dated would feel as though I couldn't provide. And my friend said, quite frankly, f@#% that. Her father, deceased now, had been well-off, and "provided" any number of financial necessities and gifts to the family, but had rarely been there for the family in any sort of emotional way.

    And I feel this is the best way to "provide" for one's family - being present emotionally with affection and laughs, interest and love. My own thoughts about money have almost destroyed me this year, as it wells up in my head as something much bigger than it really is. We must all remember that though money is what our society dwells on and works to attain each day, that there are bigger things out there, of much more cosmic heavenly importance.

    I'll pray for you, and for your economic situation, and your family. Hang in there, pray, be "blunt," love you family. Don't leave them. They need you more than they need any amount of money.

    God bless.

  3. P.S. everyone - won't be posting this weekend as I am headed to L.A. :) Will post in 2 weeks.

  4. Thanks for the response. I appreciate the prayers. You know it's funny because I'm smart, well liked, beautiful family and I have a good mind. I couldn't agree more about what's really important. And for me to be consumed in all of this is wild. I grew up in a loving family, grew up in the church, wasn't spoiled or abused and worked real hard. For me to actually contemplate thoughts of leaving blows my mind. The first time it crossed my mind I felt sick. Than as time went on I would wake up daily to those thoughts. I need to be there for my girls, and that thought keeps me sane. That is what's important. It's not pride and it's not materials(Although I was wrapped up in all of that). It's the providing for my family and not seeing any near term fix to what has been not six months of downslide but six years. If I were single I would say "ouch" made millions, lost millions, time to go back to college type lifestyle, start over. But when I get these crazy thoughts it's about taking care of my family financially. I had the cars, the house on the ocean and the house on the ski resort and now I feel ashamed when my 5 year old wants to see Disney like her friends and I can't take her. It's a tough one to swallow. I keep trying to just look forward and not backwards. In my current situation it's so hard to see more than a week out. The walls have closed in and now I just need to fight for each breath. Have a good time in LA. My Grandmother got married out there in a Catholic Church that is less than a mile from Staples Center. It was fun to see because of the connection but that was about it. St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church is beautiful out there. If you're in Orange County, one Catholic Church that's unique, is in Dana Point. It set up on the hillside and behind the alter is all windows looking out at the ocean and Catalina Island. Pretty neat!

  5. Hi again,

    Thanks for the info on those CA churches - I didn't have time this weekend to stop by any of them, but I'm planning on going back soon and I'll probably put them on my to-do list. Thanks.

    As for all these other things weighing so heavy on your mind, can I suggest possibly going to speak with someone about it all? I'll admit, that I have, in the last few months, seen someone in a clinical setting to talk over some of my thoughts and I realize how incredibly helpful it can be. I've had Spiritual Direction, as well as some sessions with a licensed Clinical Psychologist, and just to speak things out loud to a professional can really clear the mind and be so helpful. When these things go around and around in our heads with no outlet, they can become and seem so much bigger than they are. It's simply a thought and a suggestion.

    I'm sorry to hear about what you are going through and will continue my prayers, and encourage anyone out there reading this to do the same. Keep looking forward and not backward, and taking things one week (or even one day) at a time may not be the worse thing to do. God bless you and your family.

  6. Anonymous, you have another person thinking about you and praying for you.

    Keep focused on one day at a time. That's the trick we are challenged with. We as humans keep looking all around but it actually takes our eyes off the prize. In your case that isn't only God but daughters, a wife, and you need to show them how you are working through this (begin by sticking around!). You're literally teaching your daughters how to handle difficult situations. So keep up what you're doing. You're not alone; you have a family that loves you. Bring them in on your feelings, and they'll rally to your side! Be open, honest, call a family meeting, and speak forthrightly about what you've learned and what your plan is. They'll be in on what you have to do and will help. Don't feel bad about Disney World. It's really not that important. Kids always want stuff. If it's not that it'll be something else. Andrew is right in that they will remember the times you spent with them, and not an amusement park. Show them the things they can do that don't cost anything, and there are many! Do you live in NY? I am happy to make a list with details. I do it all the time, the why of which is not important.

    Maybe you can post here to say how you're doing? I'd love to know and will be praying for you. And don't forget, there are a lot of people who risk nothing and get nothing. It sounds like you risked a lot and lost some things. But you gained knowledge of what worked and what didn't. Apply it. Show your kids that, too.

    You're going to be okay. And BTW, insurance companies do not pay out when a person checks out on their own. You would leave your wife and kids in a worse situation, because they would not have you (!), and they would not have what only you can provide. So please, take time, talk to someone, and know there are no easy ways out of anything.

    My email:, in case you feel like chatting or need another pep talk.

    I know He's on your side, and if you let Him guide you through this, you won't be walking alone.

  7. Just checking in on our friend! I've been thinking about him, and praying he's okay.

  8. Thank you Cardinal Dolan for your continued destruction of our Archdiocese. Not enough to chum around with the likes of cuomo and obama. Not enough to jump for joy with the homosexuals at the St. Patricks Day Parade. Now you add to your conquests and triumphs the destruction/closing of 1/3 of the Catholic churches in the Archdiocese including St. Stephen of Hungary.

    I suppose you need all that extra cash to pay the the 1/5 OF A BILLION DOLLAR COST of renovating and beautifying YOUR baby, St. Patricks Cathedral.