St. Patrick’s Is Open

I’d like to share this beautiful piece from the New York Times with you. Thank you, Ann Hood, for your moving words.

The next day, I was in New York City. The weather had turned as warm as spring, and after a lunch in Midtown I decided to take a walk. The mild temperature made me forget that it was Christmastime, and I was surprised to see a line of people in front of Saks Fifth Avenue waiting to see its window displays. I joined them. Then I crossed the street to stare up at the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center and smile at the white angels blowing their trumpets in front of it.

As I turned to walk to the subway, a sign caught my eye: ST. PATRICK’S IS OPEN. I read it again. ST. PATRICK’S IS OPEN. Although I quickly realized the sign was there because of all the scaffolding around the church, I still couldn’t help but feel that it was also there just for me.

A church that was open! I crossed the street and went inside.

Read the rest here.

8 Responses to “St. Patrick’s Is Open”

  1. Liz says:

    That was beautiful! I hope she keeps praying! That’s sad that some churches aren’t open. Ours often are. People need the opportunity to pray and slow down and be at peace.

  2. annebender says:

    This was such a touching story! I can relate to the need to pray for comfort and peace while kneeling inside a church with candles burning. I think of all of the prayers that the walls must have absorbed over the years and how, if I make a ritual of praying in the same spot day after day, eventually the kneeler will become worn from my knees, or maybe my knees will become worn from the kneeler. In either case, there is nothing in this world like kneeling inside a beautiful church whispering prayers of love and gratitude to God, especially after just receiving Jesus in holy Eucharist. I hate to rush out the door with Him inside of me, I want to selfishly keep Him to myself for a little while before I carry Him to the world.

    So Ann Hood, I do hope that you will continue to look for open churches where you can find peace and comfort in Him. Thanks for writing such a great story! And Cardinal Dolan, thanks for sharing it here!

  3. Gail says:

    Beautiful…thank you for posting this.

  4. JSue says:

    Mrs. Hood’s Christmastime experience will be one of the most treasured in her life. She needed just a miniscule amount of faith for God to open wide the door to St. Patrick’s, but more importantly to realize that His Sacred Heart is always open for us. It shows how Baptism and growing up in the Catholic faith can never be denied. His teachings remain in our souls. God’s grace works miraculously in our lives.

    Thank you, Cardinal Dolan, for sharing this story. It certainly would make God smile if more people would look for the open doors. If only Catholic churches could unlock the doors again. That is a prayer worth praying!

    It is good to remind people of the opportunities for visiting God “in the Flesh” with those churches that offer Eucharistic Adoration. They can be easily located.

  5. berrienisd says:

    A very moving article. This is part of why we’re having so many troubles. People cannot find us because the “building is closed.” I do not mean that we have to change teaching, no. I mean we have to be available. We have to have programs and prayers that people can participate in. Our buildings must have the lights on when people come looking. When Catholics are sick and mourning, the Church has to show up. We have had too many years of fighting and too many years of business-as-usual. This cannot go on.

  6. Osvaldo Vallone says:

    Beautiful and vivid discription of the soul’s urge for God!

  7. It is very unfortunate that so many Catholic Churches are closed today. Here at Sacred Heart on Staten Island, we try to keep the church open till about 5:30 pm each day. It is edifying to see how many people come to pray and make a visit to the Eucharistic Lord.
    Open the doors to Christ!!

  8. Becky Harper says:

    In the late 1970’s as a non Catholic, I started wandering into Catholic Churches in Cleveland, Ohio. I found myself returning again and again to this rich atmosphere. In 1980 I converted to Catholicism. If the churches had been locked, where would I be today.