Sunday, November 8, 2009

80. Chapel of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary (Now the Parish of Our Saviour, Saint Stephen and Our Lady of the Scapular, and the Chapel of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary)

NOTE: In 2015 this church merged with two churches: Our Lady of the Scapular & St. Stephen Church and the Church of Our Saviour as part of the Archdiocese of New York's great closings & mergers of 2015. Only this chapel and Our Savior will remain open for regular Masses and other events. This combined parish is now called the Parish of Our Saviour, Saint Stephen and Our Lady of the Scapular, and the Chapel of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. 

(mass times & church info last updated 03/31/2016)
Address: 325 E. 33rd St.
Phone: 212.213.6027
Weekend Mass Times: 
Sun: 12:45pm, 5:30pm (both English)
Weekday Mass Times: 
Mon-Fri: 12:15pm (English)
Sun: 5pm-5:15pm
Church Constructed: 2009? (forgive me if I'm mistaken)
Official Website
Chapel History
Church of Our Lady of the Scapular & St. Stephen (associated Church)
Congegration of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary

This chapel is so far on the east side, why does anyone live all the way over there?

My thought, as I headed down 33rd this evening towards the Chapel of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary, and, finally arriving, I looked inside the chapel through it's great south windows, walking closer, peering inside, I witnessed a great congregation gathering for the Sunday 5:30pm Mass. It must happen every Sunday, and it was nice to see a mixed crowd, all ages, various types, lots of different people.

The priest gave a good sermon about living in the moment, living within and being inside each breath you take to be present in the Lord's graces and be in the moment, ready for God. It was direct and to the (and such a good) point. Ironically, I felt very out of the moment this evening. Why are things so off sometimes?


Additionally, there was a special announcement at the end of Mass, and an insert in the bulletin, about the U.S. Catholic Bishop's response to the Heath Care reform that had just passed the House. There are some fundamental sacredness of life issues presently in the bill that conflict with standard Catholic teachings concerning public funding for abortion, and care for the poor and immigrants. As United States Catholics, the Bishops urge us to speak out to our senators, politicians, lawmakers who are also our fellow human beings.

One can go here: to lodge an automatic online request to your senators.


Recently I was in a cafe with a good friend, 0ne of my closest, a fellow Christian who's a protestant. We were speaking about sin and repentance and forgiveness (pretty light, huh?) They told me that even though through their faith they know that when their sins are forgiven by God, they still feel a need to admit aloud what they have done and that they wish their church had something similar to confession as the Catholic church has.

I was struck suddenly by the sweetness of the Church's seven sacraments (specifically Reconciliation) and what it means for Catholics. These are gifts we have as Catholics that simply do not exist in other branches and sects of Christianity, and we (and I mean I here, but perhaps you feel the same) should cease taking these things for granted. We all sin down here, there is no way around - but the fact we are able to walk into the confessional and admit to God's servant our wrongdoings, and be blessed and absolved in person in a very real way, materializes for us the wondrous abstraction that is God's constant and eternal forgiveness of our very real sins.

It has given me a new realization of my Catholic faith and I now, very soon, I gots to get me to a confessional.

I've begun reading Paul Elie's book, The Life You Save May Be Your Own, which focuses on the spiritual pilgrimages of Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, Flannery O'Connor and Walker Percy. Thus far I am especially connecting with Dorothy Day's journey, in New York, and her visits to Manhattan churches. This may begin happening in the next few following posts, my sharing excerpts about Day's thoughts on NYC from Elie's book:
"Mornings she would set out on the streets of lower Manhattan...'In all that great city of seven millions, I found no friends, I had no work; I was separated from my fellows. Silence in the midst of city noises oppressed me. My own silence, the feeling that I had no one to talk to overwhelmed me so that my very throat was constricted; my heart was heavy with unuttered thoughts; I wanted to weep my loneliness away...
So it was at dawn, going home, she found herself stopping at St. Joseph's Church on Sixth Avenue, not far from Hell Hole, thinking it inevitable that 'sooner or later I would have to pause in the mad rush of living and remember my first beginning and my last end...'
St. Joseph's is the oldest Catholic church in Manhattan, low and square, with fieldstone walls, high white pillars, and a portico topped by a cross that stands out starkly against the sky. It is a kind of house blend of old and new, of city and country, of Catholic Europe and leatherstocking America...
All her life she had been haunted by God. God was behind her. God loomed before her. Now she felt hounded toward Him, as though toward home; now she longed for an end to the wavering life in which she was caught...
For the time being, she began to pray...'God, be merciful to me, a sinner.'"

(pages 16, 28-29)

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