Saturday, October 31, 2009

78. Church of the Immaculate Conception

(mass times & church info last updated 03/23/2016)
Address: 414 E. 14th St.
Phone: 212.254.0200
Weekend Mass Times: 
Sat: 4pm, 5:30pm (both English)
Sun: 8:30am (English), 10am (English, Folk music, Sign Language Interpreted), 11:15am (English, choir), 12:30pm (English), 2pm (Spanish), 5:30pm (English, Young Adult)
Weekday Mass Times: 
Mon-Fri: 7:15am, 9am, 12:10pm, 5:30pm (all English)
Sat: 8:30am, 12:10pm (both English)
Confession: Sat: 11:30am-12pm, 4:30pm-5:30pm
Mon-Fri: 5:10pm and following the 9am & 12:10pm Masses
Evening Prayer: Mondays 6pm
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Novena: Wednesdays 6pm
Church Constructed: 1896
Official Website
What is the "Immaculate Conception?"


Looking for an apartment in this fucking city is just about one of the craziest, most stressful, sometimes ludicrous, often ridiculous, and unmistakably pain-in-the-ass experiences of one's lifetime and I've found myself in the last 2 weeks doing it for the third time in as many years. It's so hard to tell if the brokers out there are good or bad people, because more often than not, at my financial range, they are hawking shoddy merchandise at unbelievable prices - even in today's "renter's market."

I am an indecisive person by nature, so something like this is drawn out all the more terribly than it already is, and, in my first solo search for a one bedroom dwelling, I find myself torn between two places - the big place up in Inwood, by the parks, with all the trees, kind of old, may or may not have pest problems vs. the smaller, renovated, next to more places (restaurants and stores) apartment in a great part of Washington Heights. Why am I such an uptown guy? Because I am priced out of most of the rest of the island and work north of the city? Probably yes, that's it. Bingo.

And so reaching the brink of my indecision, I call my girlfriend and then my parents, looking for the light. Just talking things through helps so much. Asked for advice, asked for prayers, and received a little peace of mind, mostly knowing I have such good support from both.

Still, I'm weighing the odds, and praying I choose the right place.

Here's what The Spiritual Traveler says about Immaculate Conception Church,

"Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church was built by Grace Church as an Episcopalian chapel and social service center in what was then a poor immigrant neighborhood. Today we see only half of what this complex once was, but it still resembles a medieval urban church, looking after tbe spiritual, educational, and physical needs of its parish. The style of the building is late-Gothic or early-Renaissance French, featuring a bold tower on 14th Street, a church, and a small chapel...The Roman Catholic Church bought this property in 1943. The belief in the Immaculate Conception - that Mary was born without sin - was proclaimed Roman Catholic dogma in 1854."
The Saturday 12:10pm Mass was nice here today, and well attended. This is a peaceful church and there is an outdoor grotto area I spent some time in afterward. Though my mind was preoccupied with my apartment search, this was a calming place to be and prayer came easy.

Unfortunately, this is another New York church covered in scaffolding for the time being, so I was unable to get any shots of the exterior. But within the walls and outside in the grotto were all beautiful enough for an overcast Saturday.

Later on I went to a friend's birthday gathering in a dark basement bar in the financial district, followed by heading to Greenpoint for a Halloween party. I should have just gone home after the financial district. I still can't seem to control myself and continue "finding myself in situations," not knowing how I ended up there. So I wandered around Greenpoint and somehow miraculously made it back home later in the night. Still so reckless and directionless...

An aside, if you're ever in this area visiting this church, two great bars on this street come to mind...


...and the Crocodile Lounge (free pizzas.)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

77. St. Veronica

(mass times & church info last updated 10/25/2009)
(as of 04/29/2016 I can't find a website or current phone number - if you have any info on this church's Mass times and other info, please leave in the comments section below. Thanks!)
Address: 149 Christopher St. (between Washington and Greenwich)
Phone: 212.924.5628 (seems disconnected though - sorry!)
Weekend Mass Times: 
Sat: 5pm (English)
Sun: 10am (English), 11:10am (Spanish)
Weekday Mass Times: 
Tue, Wed: 12:15pm (English)
Confession: Sat: 4:30pm-5:30pm
About the Organ
About St.Veronica

Creeping downtown in the number one train this morning on my way to St. Veronica in the West Village and, due to construction, "all trains running express between 96th and 42nd street!," the conductor screaming, we crawl along slower than if we had run local from the beginning. (What is this, the local?) I am back in New York again, where public transport (when it works) is the best, and one's own feet can carry them across entire worlds. As great and terrible a city as it is, it's my city, for the time being, and I am glad to be back in it.

This is a comfortable church to visit. The West Village is always a nice neighborhood in my opinion, and St. Veronica's fits that vibe. The priest at the 10am Mass (sorry, didn't catch his name) gave a beautiful sermon, and somewhere between constant distraction and worry, I was able to very clearly hear him, and take away some of his words with me. He was talking about those bad times in life, when we all go off to dark places.

He was saying that through these bad dark times, which are times of bad thoughts and bad spirits invading our lives, Divine assistance always remains and that God's help is always there for us. And much as when one is hungry they had better not go grocery shopping as they are more than likely to buy up a bunch of impulse food items they do not really want, so should we not make great changes in our lives when we've reached these low bad points. Wait, and be patient. The good spirit will return.

Divine assistance remains. God's help is constant.

I've got these two sides to me. Sometimes the one side takes over, the one that spends money recklessly and wants only to be reckless, drink into oblivion, sin, again and again, and make not just bad decisions, but really terrible ones. This other side I got wants simply to pray. Wants just to hide away in the dark on days and find some solace and pray.

I sat near this stained glass window through which none of the bright sunlight from outside shone through. A building put up right beside the church after it was constructed, most likely, has hidden the light from this window, and robbed it of all its colorful, bright and inspiring potential. Still, the outline remains, and kind of story, but not the full one the stained glass artist had intended.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

*West Coast Churches

"A great anxiety has God allotted, and a heavy yoke, to the sons of men; From the day one leaves his mother's womb to the day he returns to the mother of all the living,
His thoughts, the fear in his heart, and his troubled forebodings till the day he dies--
Whether he sits on a lofty throne or grovels in dust and ashes,
Whether he bears a splendid crown or is wrapped in the coarsest of cloaks--
Are of wrath and envy, trouble and dread, terror of death, fury and strife. Even when he lies on his bed to rest, his cares at night disturb his sleep.
So short is his rest it seems like none, till in his dreams he struggles as he did by day, Terrified by what his mind's eye sees, like a fugitive being pursued;
As he reaches safety, he wakes up astonished that there was nothing to fear.
So it is with all flesh, with man and with beast, but for sinners seven times more."
- Sirach 40:1-8
Mission Dolores in San Franciso...

Sudden fears that this new relationship I'm in won't end up working out either. Why do I tend to jump so eagerly into these things, these love situations, expecting so much and reaping my own anxiety and insecurities instead? Why are these things so difficult? I've been in enough that I thought I understood what it takes. It turns out as time goes on and each day passes I actually know less and less than I thought I did. We as people are all such head-cases, with such major tendencies of spoiling ourselves with the things we think we deserve, and such true ignorance of what is really important. I am guilty of this when it comes to women, and they to me.

St. Augustine Church in Culver City...

Overall, despite my stupidity, I feel I have always ultimately made the right decisions about girls in my life - must stop here to give thanks to divine advisement and intervention. Now, I have to begin making these kinds of decisions all over again and figure out how to be selfless without being a dope; how to open up without letting the fear control me; how to love fully without selfish tendencies or hesitation.

*Wayfarers Chapel in Palos Verdes...

"Out of here, we're out of here, out of heartache, along with fear.
There goes the fear again. There goes the fear.

And cars speed fast, out of here. And life goes past, again so near.
There goes the fear again. There goes the fear.

Close your brown eyes, and lay down next to me.
Close your eyes, lay down, 'cause there goes the fear. Let it go.

You turn around, and life's passed you by.
You look to those you love, to ask them why?
You look to those you love, to justify.
You turned around, and life's passed you by. Passed you by, again.

And late last night, makes up her mind. Another fight, left behind.
There goes the fear again. Let it go. There goes the fear."

- The Doves
- - -
*[Wayfarers Chapel is not a Catholic parish, but a church sponsored by The Swedenborgian Church (a branch of Christianity I was not previously familiar with - you can read more on their theology here.) It's a beautiful little place set on the cliffs of Palos Verdes, overlooking the Pacific - a tiny glass chapel designed by Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright, who insisted a visitor does not look at it as a chapel made of glass, but rather a chapel made of trees. And true enough, the frame of the place looks as if it was made from the surrounding trees themselves, bent and formed to create a very nature-inspired place of prayer and worship. This was a great little place to visit.]

Another Note:
I visited Los Angeles and the surrounding area this past week and had intended to visit some of the churches that one reader had anonymously commented on, but was however unable to arrange transportation due to my location and lack of personal vehicle (stupid L.A., have to drive everywhere!) If I make it to L.A. again, I plan on visiting them, especially the one in Dana Point. Anyway, if that reader is still out there, I'm wondering how you are doing, and I want you to know you remain in thoughts and prayers - and not just mine, but some other readers as well. God bless.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

76. Our Lady of Victory (Now the Parish of Our Lady of Victory and of St. Andrew)

NOTE: In 2015 this church merged with St. Andrew Church 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 is called the Parish of Our Lady of Victory and of St. Andrew.

(mass times & church info last updated 03/31/2016)
Address: 60 William St.
Phone: 212.422.5535
Weekend Mass Times: 
Sat: 5:15pm (English)
Sun: 7:30am, 10am, 12:15pm (all English)
Weekday Mass Times: 
Mon-Fri: 7:15am, 8am, 12:15pm, 1:05pm (in lower chapel), 5:15pm (all English)
Saturdays & Holidays: 7:30am (English)
Holy Days: 
Vigil: 4:30pm, 5:15pm (both English)
Holy Day: 7am, 7:30am, 8am, 8:30am, 9am, 11:30am, 12pm, 12:30pm, 1pm, 1:30pm, 4:30pm, 5:15pm (all English)
Mon-Fri: 8am-8:30am; 12:45pm-1:30pm; 5pm-5:30pm
DEVOTIONS (except for Holidays):
Miraculous Medal: Mondays 12:45pm
St. Anthony: Tuesdays 12:45pm
St. Jude: Wednesdays 12:45pm
The Holy Spirit Thursdays 12:45pm
The Rosary:
Mon-Fri: after the 8am Mass
Fridays 12:45pm (Except first Fridays and during Lent)
Sacred Heart Novena: First Fridays 12:45pm
Stations of the Cross: Fridays of Lent 12:45pm
Benediction & Exposition:
After all devotions until 5pm
Constructed: 1947
Official Website
About the Organ
Our Lady of Victory

I believe I have visited all the churches nearest me up to now on this journey so each weekend I now venture out further and further from my apartment to some distant neighborhood in Manhattan. Having recently tackled a huge amount of churches on the east side (there are a lot there) I think I now will be focusing on the many churches of the Lower East Side and downtown. This morning, I decided to go to Our Lady of Victory, one of Manhattan's most furthest south churches that I have left (though I believe Our Lady of the Rosary is the actually the southernmost Manhattan church,) because my roommate and I decided to set out from South Ferry this morning heading North, covering the distance of Manhattan lengthwise on foot.

Unfortunately, my camera battery had died so I was forced to use my Blackberry camera as backup (which is why these images of the church are such poor quality and blurred (stupid Blackberry!)) I went to the earliest Mass offered, 7:30am, of course running a little late, was completely tired as I had gone to bed late the night before, and continued being cloudy and slightly unfocused during the Mass as I've been the last few weeks.

Luckily, my roommate brought me a spare battery when meeting me at South Ferry, and then we began the journey, walking around the southern tip of the island up to the U.N., cutting across Central Park, and then on up the west side (the best side) through Riverside Park, past the G.W. bridge up to the furthest point north, coincidentally very near one of my favorite places, Indian Road Cafe, where we stopped in and had a few celebratory beers. Well deserved, and we enjoyed them.

Here's a few of the sites along the way...

additional photos...