Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Visiting Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City and Capturing a Special Moment on the Staten Island Ferry

Happy Wednesday.

One more post about last week's trip to the Northeast. I had been so looking forward to going to Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York, most specifically to see the scrubbed exterior and the refurbished and cleaned interior. I was not disappointed.

I attended the cathedral's 9:00 A.M. Mass on Sunday. I was so glad to be handed a worship program so that every single piece of assembly music was accessible to me. In such a cavernous space, the singing of the assembly gets a little lost as it floats upward. The cantor was excellent, as was the organ playing; crisp and with lots of energy, which was refreshing. I thought the celebrant's celebratory style was rather wooden, until he began his homily, which was one of the best and most challenging I have heard in years. He talked about the challenge to bring the poor into our own lives; to pay attention to the dignity of every human person, especially the poor. He was so animated during the homily. He spoke of his own personal experiences in Calcutta with Mother Teresa. One could have heard a pin drop in the cathedral as he shared these stories a week before her canonization.

This weekend would have marked the 53rd birthday of my dear youngest sister, Joanne, who died over fifteen years ago from complications from multiple sclerosis. I lit a candle in her memory at the side altar honoring Saint Elizabeth Seton. My sister, before her illness became so debilitating, worked with and taught elementary school children, so this was the appropriate place to light a candle.


The traditional cardinal's hats, the galeros, have been moved in Saint Patrick's. They hang much closer to the assembly now, surrounding the area around the sanctuary. Here's a photo I took of two of the galeros. You can see how beautifully restored the interior is; it used to seem so dark and gloomy, with years of soot and dust covering the ceiling and walls.


Of course, I was interested in the baptism font, which has its own altar, to the left of the main altar.


The font itself is illuminated by lights affixed to the brass "canopy" over the font. This is pretty stunning.


It must be something to behold when a baby is baptized in this font, with all that light flooding down.

It was a wonderful trip to New York City. The tourist part of me was thrilled to go to Coney Island, to take a twenty mile bike round around the edges of Manhattan, and to visit the 9-11 memorial.

Most memorable was the trip on the Staten Island Ferry, out to the island and back (and it's free!) The timing could not have been more perfect. I hope you enjoy this little video I was able to capture as the ferry passed the Statue of Liberty.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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