NYC Day 2: Seminaries and Spaghetti

The day began with a Solemn Mass for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost. I got to be a deacon for the Mass, which is rather rare for me. It was sacred fun. I don’t believe there are any photos.

Later in the afternoon we sang Vespers and had Benediction.  It is a wonderful way to sanctify your Sunday.   Major churches and all Cathedrals should have Vespers on Sundays.   Isn’t there an Instruction from the CDW that says that?  Musicam sacram?  I wonder why it is almost never implemented.

Anyway, after Vespers it was off to Yonkers.  I visited Dunwoodie Seminary (St. Joseph’s) for the first time and had a brief tour of the highlights.

The chapel.

Look what I saw in the sacristy!


After that, I cooked supper for about 10 young priests and seminarians.  It was a great time.  There were quite a few photos, as it turns out, but here are two which will give you a hint about the evening.




I am encouraged by my meetings with these men.  They are impressive.  Pray for vocations!  Pray for more vocations to the priesthood.  Pray for seminarians.  Pray for the newly ordained (especially that they survive the the pastors of their first assignments).

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. What a beautiful place. How’s the formation there?

  2. excalibur says:

    Making all things new is a train wreck in the Archdiocese of New York. A church that had a long standing Latin Mass, Sacred Heart in Port Chester, was a recent victim. Cast aside were those who hold the old rite in high esteem, I feel so very sorry for them. I think they were celebrating Sunday in the old rite since at least the 1990’s, if not earlier. Four churches in Port Chester now down to two, and in two years basically one. To be then run by the Salesians, not diocesan priests.

    Opportunity for someone to move into one of the already closed churches. I wonder if the FSSP would be permitted to take one over? Then again, probably not. They would be denied.

  3. Mike says:

    Major churches and all Cathedrals should have Vespers on Sundays.

    At the Oratorian church of St. Thomas Apostle in Washington, D.C., solemn Vespers according to the 1961 Breviary is celebrated every Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. Although it doesn’t (yet) appear on the parish calendar, attendance and participation are open to all. No special training is required; the 4-line staff notation is pretty easy to pick up and there’s a warmup at 3:30 for those who wish to sing. At last (informal) check this was the only celebration of solemn traditional Vespers on the Eastern Seaboard of these USA, a situation that we can pray and work to change.

  4. Richard Hardisty says:

    Is that a Vesper Martini? Love those :)

  5. NoraLee9 says:

    Salutem omnibus!

    Father Z wrote: ” Isn’t there an Instruction from the CDW that says that? ” Father McNeeley FSSP preached part of his homily in regards to this very issue, affirming that EVERY church should celebrate Vespers on Sunday. He pondered aloud the same issue: Why isn’t it done more often. and why is “it is a custom
    More honor’d in the breach than the observance,…?
    That being said, he has (re) introduced the practice of weekly Sunday Vespers at OLF Chapel, Pequannock.
    Mike wrote: “this was the only celebration of solemn traditional Vespers on the Eastern Seaboard of these USA,” Not only is Solemn Vespers chanted at OLF, it is also chanted weekly at Holy Innocents, NYC.

  6. JimGB says:

    Excalibur, I think that you are correct on likely denial,of an FSSP pariah in ADNY. If they took a closed parish and turned it into something in the model of St. John Cantius in Chicago, the Cardinal and his cohorts would be red-faced that their consistent drum beat of doom and gloom, of consolidation, merger, downsizing, and reduced services, would be proven incorrect. Clerical pride would trump concern for the people.

  7. JimGB says:

    Just as a follow up, I live in an area where some formerly ethnic parishes (Slovak in this case) were merged into another parish. I have heard that the pastor of the merged parish showed indifference at best to his new parishioners . Many of the displaced parishioners meanwhile are saddened by the loss of their church,. Many of them were from families who had worshipped at the now closed church for generations and whose immigrant forebears had donated stained glass windows and other memorials.

  8. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Fr. Z,

    What can you tell us about the apron (and its availability)?

  9. Mike says:

    I am delighted to be set straight with NoraLee9‘s up-to-date information. En route to my vacation in New England last month I had the privilege of hearing Mass on First Friday evening and First Saturday morning at Our Lady of Fatima in Pequannock. Better planning next trip may allow me to attend Sunday Vespers either there or at Holy Innocents.

  10. FloridaJoan says:


    you beat me to it ! LOL

  11. Latinmass1983 says:

    The Church of the Holy Innocents has been sanctifying Sundays with traditional Holy Mass at 10:30AM and Vespers at 2:30PM on Sundays every Sunday for the past 5 years (4 years for Vespers).

    A good number of people (50-60), after Mass, go down to the parish hall for a nice and warm coffee hour, and then head back up to the church at 2pm for the holy Rosary, and then Sunday Vespers at 2:30pm.

    We have encouraged FSSP and ICK Priests who used to come to Holy Innocents to help with the Sunday (or weekday) Mass to add Vespers at their parish every Sunday (not just during Advent and Lent). It felt very lonely for Holy Innocents to be the only parish in the tri-state area with traditional Vespers.

    Before Holy Innocents, there was no church where Vespers was done on Sundays (either traditional or vernacular). Holy Innocents is still the only parish that has traditional Sunday Vespers in the Archdiocese of NY.

  12. Richard S. says:

    There’s always (at least) two sides to every story. I’d like to give the pastors of the newly ordained a full hearing before taking sides.

  13. Elizabeth D says:

    wow, that’s pretty nice, well-known priest visits their seminary and gives THEM hospitality.

  14. gracie says:

    Coincidentally, there is an article via ‘New Advent’ about the transformation of the former Immaculate Heart Seminary into a retreat center; after their seminarians were transferred to St. Joseph’s. Apparently, it’s been a very successful transition. Here’s the link::

    On a separate note – if you suddenly find yourself blocked from commenting on Fr. Z’s blog, may I suggest cleaning out your cookies? This happened to me a short while ago – I knew there was something up because, after first being blocked personally and *then* being blocked from even viewing Father’s blog, I eliminated all 463 cookies and – voila! – I’m able to comment again, as you can see. Btw, I suspect some cookies may be more virulent than others – I had looked up the website of a local carpet store a couple of weeks ago and now am getting non-stop pop-up ads from them ever since. To be clear – I didn’t even contact them online – I simply looked at their website and the damage was done.

  15. Gregorius says:

    Lovely place, that seminary. You can just feel the history of the place by walking its corridors. Though it is sad to walk past the portraits of the graduating classes and see the class sizes shrink. The only thing needed to complete that chapel is to have bodies filling the choir stalls once again.

  16. excalibur says:

    Gracie, you need to block those cookies. Depends upon the browser that you use. If using Firefox here is a head start:

    You can customize as they show. For other browsers simply Google for info on how to block using that browser.

  17. WGS says:

    Musicam Sacram (5 March 1967)
    II The singing of the Divine Office
    37 …”That is why, in accordance with the wish of the Constitution on the Liturgy (Art. 99), this sung form is strongly recommended to those who celebrate the Office in choir or in common.

    For it is desirable that at least some part of the Divine Office, especially the principal Hours, namely Lauds and Vespers, should be performed in sung form by these people, at least on Sundays and feast days.”

  18. Giuseppe says:

    A friend of mine was an organist at an Episcopal church. That church often had Sunday vespers (Solemn Evensong with a superb choir) followed by a free organ recital. It was gorgeous.

    One thing I appreciated about the Pope’s visit is that he presided over several vesper services. I was surprised at the number of comments from people I work with – ‘what is vespers?’

  19. tonyfernandez says:

    I’ve seen altar cards also at the church at Mt. St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles. They’re hidden in the sacristry and ignored. Hopefully the ones that you found are being used! Also ignored (covered by a tarp) is a beautiful high altar and baldacchino.

    Our heritage is out there, hidden and waiting.

  20. Raymond says:

    RE: parish closures

    I don’t remember if it was on this blog. But someone said that if you want to donate some materials to your parish (I.e. sacred art, chalices, statues, etc.), that it should be in the form of a “loan” rather than as a “gift”. That way, if your pastor friend is replaced by an iconoclastic one, or if the bishop decides to close the parish, you get to have your sacred piece of art back, rather than for it to be simply tossed away.

  21. gracie says:


    Thanks! I need all the help I can get when it comes to the computer :)

  22. excalibur says:

    Gracie, you are most welcome.

Comments are closed.