Google lists 68 Catholic churches in Manhattan, an island smaller than DFW airport by 7 sq. miles. That averages 3 Catholic churches per square mile, with their presence more densely represented in mid and lower Manhattan. Today we attended the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Hell’s Kitchen where Father Gabriel provided a moving homily reminding us of our Lenten mission.
The church was beautiful, with wooden pews that creak when you lower the kneeler. It was built in 1884 in the traditional Romanesque style, with tall pillars and decorative arches. There is a special feel to these old churches. As I knelt in meditation before Mass, I couldn’t help but imagine the generations that had been born and died in this church. It has seen the rise, fall and rebirth of this great city. It seemed appropriate to called upon the saints of earlier days to pray for our return to faith and a kinder gentler nation. It was overwhelming to feel the faith connection to previous generations.