Those popes who bear the name, "Pius," are the greatest guardians of the Church against heresy. This blog is a watchdog for modernism in the Church. In reality, outside this blog, the members of the board temper their criticisms and opinions with prudence and charity so as to help souls in their journey towards Christ. But sometimes, for the sake of their own sanity, the authors of this blog just need to blow off some steam. The result is Totus Pius.

01 July 2006

Papal Visit to NYC: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

A few days ago , New York City received a papal visit from an undisclosed number of popes and friends from Totus Pius. The press was kept in the dark so as to keep the visit both quiet and holy. While we were there, we could not help but to document many of our findings and then categorize them into the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good:
We will begin with the decent and work our way up to the best.

1. Trinity Church on Wall St.- On the recommendation of a family member, we went to an episcopalian "church" to view the architecture, visit Alexander Hamilton's gravesite, and possibly read some public decrees of excommunication. We found the architecture pleasing. We figure that this building will be one gem of a church after we reclaim it for Christ.

2. St. Peter's Church on Barclay St. (New York State's Oldest Parish, Founded 1785)- This church was closed for renovations, but due to our apostolic authority we were admitted to the upper church on a private tour after visiting Our Lord in adoration in the lower church. The main altar was a beautiful white marble and was flanked by reliquaries. The statues were also done in marble and were of a great quality. The stained glass windows were the originals and were very beautiful. We were happy to note that this was St. Elizabeth Ann Seton's parish. We noticed that the paint on the walls was chipping, but were pleased to see that this and not the removal of the marble was the reason for the renovation.

3. Church of St. Agnes on Archbishop Fulton Sheen Plaza- While the exterior of this church left much to be desired, we were greatly pleased with this parish. Besides being located on Fulton Sheen Plaza, we found that the church offers 7 daily Masses, daily Benediction, daily confession, and a fantastic bookstore open daily. The church offers 7 Sunday Masses including an 11am Tridentine Mass. We are very proud of this parish's work.

4. Church of St. Vincent Ferrer on Lexington Avenue- By and far our favorite church in the city. It is run by the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph. We loved looking at the stunning Gothic facade featuring a relief of the crucifixion and scenes from the life of St. Dominic as well as statues of St. Vincent Ferrer, St. Dominic, St. Francis, and the four Dominican popes (incl. St. Pius V). The interior was even more breathtaking. Once inside, the towering stone and beautiful blue stained-glass lends the feeling of an authentic mediaeval cathedral. We were pleased to see the high altar intact with a beautiful gold tabernacle and huge wooden altarpiece featuring Christ the King and a painting of St. Vincent Ferrer. We also greatly appreciate the side altar dedicated to Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary and the friar's private chapel. We were also greatly impressed by the true act of ecumenism by the Dominican Friars who run the church: they included a statue of St. Anthony in one of the side chapels as well as St Francis on the facade. This is one beautiful church.

The Bad:
We will begin with mildly bad and more towards horrendous.

5. St. Ignatius Church on 980 Park Avenue- Despite the beautiful exterior of this church, we were most disappointed to find it closed. What the heck were the Jezzies doing? They knew we were making a pastoral visit.

4. St. Ignatius Church on 980 Park Avenue- The picture says it all.

3. Shower of Stoles- As were walking on the street, we spotted this ad. The participants should count their lucky stars that our visit was a day late...we would have anathematized them all.

2. Immanuel Lutheran Church on 122 East 88th St.- We saw this "church" in the distance and it piqued our interest due to beautiful exterior. Upon arrival, we found it was closed. We were neither surprised nor upset because we figured Christ wasn't there anyway so why'd they be open? Upon looking at the "church's" website, we found interior to be equally beautiful. Like Trinity, this will be a great acquisition after our crusade...I, crusade...

1. Park Avenue Methodist Church 106 East 86th St.- One of the WORST STATEMENTS EVER! This is simply a disgrace.

The Ugly:

1. The Park Avenue Methodist Church claims a slot in this section as well. The picture of the tympanum says all.

2. We found this chalice in St. Paul's Chapel on our way to Trinity Church. The historic structure where people such including George Washington have visited has essentially been converted into a 9-11 Museum. Now, don't get us wrong, we were terribly saddened and upset by the events of that tragic day, and it's not like Our Lord really was ever in that building anyway - so ok, fine, have the museum. But, this thing you see in the picture is not worthy of those who died in the attacks, let alone Our Lord. Attempts to tell us that we should have more patience because it was formed from metal from Ground Zero are futile because the maker could have made a more attractive work regardless of where the metal came from. CAAHH-MAAAAN

Added Bonus:

The Awesome:

1. Trinity Public House - no no don't confuse it with the "church," we know it's hard. When Papa Sanctus Pius X first saw this establishment, he started joyfully sobbing. Unfortunately, we were unable to stop and enjoy this fine establishment. We are keeping this in mind for our next papal visit.

2. Sotto Cinco - this is the fine Italian establishment where the papal entourage enjoyed dinner on the side walk in the tradition of the restaurants of Italy. Reasonable prices, excellent food, and a genuine European feel makes this restaurant truly awesome. The only downside was their inability to split our check, thus causing us to spend sometime separating it ourselves. We guess it all comes from the same treasury, but how dare they make us do extra work? Don't they understand how hard anathematizing for a living really is?


Papa Beatus Pius IX said...

Why did we have to be on an Apostolic Visit to the Crystal Coast of North Carolina, USA that weekend?

Ma Beck said...

Did you know that in my little video 'Vocations Crisis', the scary clown mass featured actually occurred at Trinity Episcopal Church?
(I agree, it's beautiful, what with Geo. Washington's pew preserved and all...)
Just thought you would like to know about the shenanigans that go on within its lovely walls.
When are you going to make a pilgrimage to St. John Cantius in Chicago? (

Stephen said...

Diversity? I'm unfamiliar with that particular mark of the Church...

mary catherine said...

ummmm, I haven't read your post yet but that one picture......what is it? Please tell me that's not suppose to be a chalice!

mary catherine said...

*gasp*! I read the post, it is a chalice! And that picture of the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, is it suppose to be Catholic, Jewish, or Muslim? That is sort of confusing!
You saw Alexander Hamilton's grave?! Neat! We were just in Philadelphia a while back so naturally we heard a lot about him and all the other men who shaped the united states. I hope you had a good time in New York, despite all the churches that were going down hill.

Nick Milne said...

The only downside was their inability to split our check, thus causing us to spend sometime separating it ourselves. We guess it all comes from the same treasury, but how dare they make us do extra work? Don't they understand how hard anathematizing for a living really is?

Well, obviously this establishment has a grave respect for the Catholic tradition of the fair division of wealth, and would not dare to impinge upon your noble prerogative.

Anne Kadera said...

Ahhhh just wanted to say you guys ROCK. Whenever my friends and I see a beautiful protestant church, we claim it for the Vatican (and bury a Miraculous Medal on the grounds).

Papa Sanctus Pius V said...

Ma Beck, we have all (except one) been to St. John Cantius, and I'm sure a number of us will pay a visit to your lovely parish once the school year starts again and we are once more in that area of the country.

Furor, your point is well taken.

Caritas said...

My good popes,

I just found your site today. Please let us know when you will be making a pastoral visit to the Midwest. We too have our fair share of churches crying out to be reclaimed for Jesus and his church.

Papa Sanctus Pius V said...

What area of the Midwest, Caritas?

Caritas said...

Illinois. Currently I reside in Central Illinois, but have personal business in several different parts of the state.

Chicago is my favorite of these places for there are many very worthy Catholic edifices to be seen. The nicest are in primarily poorer areas, for they were unable to afford the architectural idiocies of "the spirit of Vatican II," Modernism, and such. It looks as though the poor won out in the end. Many of these churches have recently seen beautiful restorations.

Papa Sanctus Pius V said...

Illinois is not far from our Alma Mater - the fairest and dearest University of Notre Dame. As we have promised Ma Beck, when a number of us return in there for fall classes, a papal visit to St. John Cantius of Chicago will be in order. We will most likely try to visit other churches of that city.

We may also make a papal visit to Peoria -which is much closer to you, we presume.

If you have recommendations of other places to visit within a day's drive of Our Lady's University, please let us know.

Emily said...

I just moved to Peoria; the churches, here, too, fared better in the poorer areas. A big part of that, of course, is that these are the older churches in town, whereas the "nicer" areas tend to have churches from the latter half of the 20th century. Some of the churches here are or have undergone recent restorations, such as St. Mark's which has been designated the Diocesan Shrine to Blessed Fra Angelico, and the Cathedral, which is having little things done all the time (eventually, they'll be painting stars on the ceiling, as they've already done in the relic chapel). Sacred Heart is currently undergoing restoration in anticipation of their Centennial, so it will be interesting to see what that looks like when they're done, as well.

Caritas said...

Papa Sanctus Pius V,

The papal entourage would like St. John Cantius very much. The interior has a very masculine feel, as most of the colors are very dark. All of the wood elements are heavily polished so they almost look like marble and there is a suitable amount of gilding. Cantius was a Polish parish at one time, so all of the stained glass windows have polish writing on them.

Other Neo-Baroque churches that are even more impressive than St. John Cantius include Our Lady of the Angels (administered by Opus Dei) and St. Hyacinth's Basilica. I cannot think of the Cathedral name, but its interior was ruined during its last renovation. The exterior is nice still, but I would recommend it only as a last stop if you had time.

Soon, the traditional apostolic society of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest will refurbish the interior of the former St. Gelasius (Now the Shrine of Christ the King) on the South Side of Chicago. I have personally seen the most recent proposals and when it is finished, the interior will be one of the finest in the country. The exterior is very nice too, but is not in need of refurbishment.

The Chicago diocesan seminary at Mundelein is a rather unknown impressive architectural gem in the Midwest too. The entire campus has retained its original colonial appearance even with the recent addition of a new library. It looks as if it has been there the whole time....I'm writing too much so I'll leave you with that for now.

Caritas said...


I have been to the cathedral in Peoria on several occasions. It is very nice, no? Soon, they will be building a new pastoral center, and the plans call for the building to be constructed in a style complementary to the cathedral.

St. John's, formerly St. Martin de Porres is another nice one, just recently refurbished near the downtown. They had a fire a few years ago.