I was running around my neighbourhood yesterday morning and stopped at an intersection to wait for the light to change. Glancing around, I noticed a huge church tower just a block or two from my apartment.
What is that? Why have I never noticed a massive church on my street?
I took a detour to pass the front of the building and realized that I have passed this church, often, and that the creep of neighbouring architecture means I’m too often focused on the narrow sidewalk, the traffic, the bustle of shops and pedestrians to realize that the church’s dome towers far above the rest of the neighbourhood.
And I have, in fact, wondered before about the history of this parish. Arriving home, I booted up the Google and took a look at online maps to name the building I was looking for. Turns out it’s the Most Holy Redeemer Church, locally identified more commonly as Iglesia Santisimo Redentor. And while the community gives it a Spanish name, the church’s history was originally German – a part of New York City Lower East Side’s founding German community, remembered forever by the General Slocum disaster that wiped out much of its core population.
The church hosts daily mass. The interior photos on their website look beautiful. I might pretend I’m anglo-catholic enough to sit in the sanctuary, sometimes. It’s the closest parish to my doorstep, and I wish it could be home.