Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Saying the Rosary Nightly on the Steps of Mary Help of Christians RC Church in the East Village ...

Mary Help of Christians and 19th Century Italian Saint John Bosco founder of the Salesian Society Which founded Mary Help of Christians RC Church .

Mary Help of Christians remains open on Sunday for two masses , one in Spanish and one in English .

Eight faithful souls on the steps of the church after saying the Rosary on Wednesday night . They will return tomorrow nigth and as many more nights as necessary . Join them . They will welcome you just as as they did us .

Wednesday night as a cold bitter wind blew down 12th street a small group of parishioners gathered as they have every night since the end of May of 2007 when Mary Help of Christians RC Church was closed by the Archdiocese of New York . Often there are at least twice this many gathered on the steps at 7 pm but tonight it was just too windy and cold .
These parishioners gather to read the Rosary passing the beads of the Rosary through their hands as they pray and meditate alternatively on one of the three mysteries ; the joyful , the sorrowful or the glorius mystery . Wednesday night there was also a novena said for Saint John Bosco whose feast day is tomorrow , January 31 .
This act of faith and devotion , an inducement to piety in itself , is also simply to keep Mary Help of Christians open and available to the many parishioner that want their parish to continue .
We were told by Michael , the man above waving , that at the beginning of the cold war when the Russians were occupying Austria church officials instructed the faithful to say the Rosary as often as possible until the the Russians left Austria : that is just what he claims they shortly inexplicably did . History documents that it is true that the Russians did leave and Austria became a neutal country and remained so through-out the duration of the cold war . Perhaps Faith and Works can achieve a desired end here also .
Michael also told me that he knows the Fat Lady , indeed he even hugged her and kissed her on the street two days earlier , and she assured him that she was not going to be singing anytime soon ....
For more on Mary Help of Christians , the Salesians and St. John Bosco :

you beat me to it! nice pics. i'll add a link.
this is something that I have been involved with for some time Jeremiah . Last spring I published a picture of the last Good Friday at the church .

I find this all to be rather amazing ,that folks will perservere in their actions and belief as these faithful do .We are both losing and gaining here with the gain being spiritual . I know many disregard all this ,dismiss it as silliness but even one lost to the true path as me can see something special with these Rosarys .

Whatever , you should go there and talk to these people and do a story also ,your own special take on these special evenings on the steps . .
my uncle was a priest there for many many years until they started deconstructing the place and shipped him off to Alabama. My son was baptized there. It's sad to see it go.
Perhaps it won't go .
This is all very sad to read. Please, please let me know if the church is still open or what the status is today.

Till I hear I'll the place & its parishoners in prayer.

My grandfather was the architect/builder Wm. Ciaravino, a Sicilian immigrant who attended Cooper Union. Please send us pictures if this church is still standing, we only have his hand drawen rendering. We can share copies of that if contacted.
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