Monday, July 18, 2011

Cafe Basilica- St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in Manhattan

I was in the city yesterday with my family and we went to Mass at The Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral on Mulberry Street. I had never been there before. I placed a visit there on my "bucket list" after reading that the Church had been designated a basilica. Old St. Patrick's was the first Cathedral Church in the city and the cornerstone was laid in 1809. It was called at that time, "one of the greatest ornaments of our city." I was impressed with what I saw and heard. They have realistic Mass times there for the many young adults who live in the area. We attended the 12:45 PM Mass and there is a last chance Mass at 7:00 PM. They were having a barbeque after the 7:00 PM Mass with a guest speaker ($5.00 donation- a bargain!). The speaker would be talking about Social Networking and how you can use the internet to bring more "prayer into your daily lives and keep you informed...." In the bulletin, the pastor wrote that the 7:00 PM Mass "has become known in the neighborhood as the 'young peoples' Mass..." Though the historic Church was not air conditoned, they did have fans going and the Mass was thoughtfully done, good music and a well thought out and prepared homily by the Pastor Msgr. Donald Sakano. The homily contained a good message, to the point, something you could remember and take with you......(On exiting the Church I told Msgr. Sakano it was good, he deserved that!)
They have Evening Prayer (Vespers) on the first Sundays at 6:30 PM. (I have read that evening prayer is a great tool for evangelization.....)
Also, the bulletin was filled with good ideas and good ways to attract the young adult population that lives in the area. They have a "Cafe Basilica." From their bulletin, "Our courtyard at 32 Prince St. is dedicated to hospitality with a reminder that God is alive and well and living across the street in the Basilica. On Sunday afternoons we will feature the music of professional musicians from 2:00-4:00 PM." What an amazing idea.........So if you are ever in the city on a Sunday afternoon, stop by the Old St. Patrick's and check out Cafe Basilica.
After Mass, my sons noticed a famous comedian with his family, who were leaving Church. I didn't know him but my sons recognized him, as they are accustomed to running into famous people in Manhattan.
Afterwards, we walked over to Little Italy for an Italian lunch. A good way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I was uplifted by all the good ideas and actions coming out of that historic Church in a great location in Manhattan. Good evangelization at work in the city of New York!