Whilst on 5th Avenue in New York, you can’t miss the imposing grandeur of St Patrick’s Cathedral. Last year on our trip to New York, the outside was undergoing restoration, but this did not distract from this magnificent building. St Patrick’s is a community church and there was a service taking place the day we visited. It welcomes over 5 million visitors, of all faiths, each year whether for service or just to marvel at the building or to take a quiet moment out from our busy life.
The Cathedral is the oldest Roman Catholic parish in New York City today and has a rich history. The original cathedral of New York was built in 1809 on Mulberry Street. In 1858 the new, and present, St Patrick’s Cathedral started to be built on the corner of 5th and Madison Avenue and fiftieth and fifty-first street. Interrupted by the civil war, it was finally finished and opened in 1879. Over the years, since, there have been additions and restorations to ensure the Cathedral is preserved for the next generations. It was in this cathedral that Robert F Kennedy memorial took place and that of the 9/11 victims.
As we have Irish heritage, a visit to the Cathedral was a must. Even though I have visited before, I still marveled in the stain glass and the architecture.
More than 1 million candles are lit each year. We all do this for varying reasons. I lit one for the family members who are no longer with us and took time to remember them in the quiet of the Cathedral.
It was good to take time out, to just be and to think of those who are no longer with us but who are thought of every day. Stepping back out onto 5th Avenue you were quickly enveloped back it to the hectic New York life.
If you are in New York and can find time to visit the Cathedral, even if for only a few minutes, you won’t be disappointed that you did.