Friday, December 1, 2017

Parishioners hope their prayers are answered with former Nativity space on 2nd Avenue

[EVG file photo]

This past summer, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York desacralized the former Church of the Nativity on Second Avenue between Second Street and Third Street ... clearing the way for a potential sale of the desirable property.

Tomorrow afternoon, Friends of Nativity Church and the Cooper Square Community Land Trust are holding a prayer service at the Most Holy Redeemer on Third Street between Avenue A and Avenue B... before walking over to the Second Avenue building.

According to the flyer, participants will pray "that the resources of Nativity & Most Holy Redeemer be used to serve the most needy among us and for the good of the world." (AKA, Please don't tear down the church and build luxury condos.)

The church closed in July 2015 as part of a massive consolidation reportedly due to changing demographics and a shortage of priests available to say mass. The Church of the Nativity merged with Most Holy Redeemer.

The Friends of Nativity had previously proposed a Dorothy Day Shrine and retreat center with services for the homeless at 44 Second Ave. (Read more about that proposal here.)

Archdiocese officials allow 10 days for parishioners to appeal the decree of a closed church. In this case, the Archdiocese made the announcement this summer on the Friday before the long July 4 holiday weekend.

Updated 10 a.m.

Just received the news release on the service...

Parishioners and friends of the former Church of the Nativity will gather for a prayer service on Dec. 2, led by Father Sean McGillicuddy at 1:30 PM at the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer followed by a Walk to Church of the Nativity and remarks and prayers in front of the church at 2:30 PM.

The former parishioners of the Church of the Nativity are advocating that the site be used to serve the most needy, hopefully by providing low income housing in a neighborhood that is rapidly gentrifying.

The parish was first established in 1842 and for time was a Jesuit mission parish. Dorothy Day, the co-founder of the Catholic Worker, who is being proposed for canonization, was a parishioner. Her Funeral Mass was held there in 1980.

In the spirit of Dorothy Day and Pope Francis, Joanne Kennedy, a parishioner of Nativity and Most Holy Redeemer and member of the Catholic Worker stated: "Other shuttered Catholic churches nearby have been sold to developers for luxury housing, including Mary Help of Christians. This cannot happen here, where Dorothy came to pray."

The Cooper Square Community Land Trust and Nativity/Most Holy Redeemer parishioners have requested a meeting with Cardinal Dolan to discuss a proposal to redevelop the site as low-income housing for families, seniors, disabled and the homeless, a community center (to replace homeless services lost when the Holy Name Center closed) as well as a small meditation room dedicated to Dorothy Day.

The Cooper Square Community Land Trust has been protecting and preserving affordable housing in the Lower East Side for over 20 years, and in collaboration with the Cooper Square MHA owns, manages and operates 21 buildings.

Previously on EV Grieve:
As the Church of the Nativity closes for good tonight, take a look at the original structure

Parishioners fight to save the Church of the Nativity on 2nd Avenue


Gojira said...

Didn't work for Mary Help of Christians...but good luck to them...

Anonymous said...

HOPE THIS WORKS! Anything to not have another "luxury" condo in the neighborhood. Would be nice if the church did something with it true to the Pope's words and their supposed mission.

Felton said...

With a rooftop observatory and a heated, swivel dome for 2nd Avenue Star Watchers -- I will endorse the comprehensive plan wholeheartedly!

Giovanni said...

I hope this works too, but they probably won’t be the only ones involved in the East Village real estate market who are praying today. Steve Croman is praying that he survives spending a year on Rikers Island, but it probably won’t be much worse than living in one of his apartments. Raphael Toledano is praying that someone, anyone, will drop another big real estate deal in his lap in order to make his bankruptcy filings go away. And Jared Kushner is praying that Michael Flynn hasn't forgotten his oath of Omertà to the Trump Crime Family. But as Gojira has already noted, not everyone’s prayers are always answered. However, for the suffering tenants of Croman, Toledano and Kushner who prayed that their landlord would one day be locked up, bankrupt, or under investigation by the Federal Government for Russian collusion and other crimes, your prayers have been answered.

cmarrtyy said...

The groups demands are too inclusive. The redevelopment has to be focused on 1 objective not 10 or it will never make sense to the archdiocese and ultimately fail. If it were about senior housing for the community or low income housing but not both, it would stand a better chance. And that's the point. The church probably wants the best offer, not the biggest headache.

Anonymous said...

EV's god is money.

You know how on U.S. paper currency bills "In God We Trust" appears? Well, in the new EV, it may not show overtly but "In Money We Trust" is written all over the place.

Anonymous said...

I wish this had the Pope's direct attention, b/c he'd make the priority very clear to Dolan. (Dolan, IMO, missed his calling as a real estate developer.)

Anonymous said...

@Giovanni It's seeming like Croman won't see Rikers. He's been at Manhattan Detention Center (MDC) since day 1, which apparently can be pretty nice if you get in the protected area.

You can search the inmates here, they have his name spelled as "Crowman" unlikely a mistake ...

Who knows how long he'll be at MDC, he may be there due to the civil litigation in progress, but I'm sure it's preferable to Rikers.

Giovanni said...

@4:47. You're right, he's getting special treatment. They even mis-spelled his name in the system to hide it. According to the Inmate Details page he is 5’9” and only 150 pounds, with green eyes (just like Scrooge) so he wouldn't last 5 minutes on Rikers. The guards are probably bringing him nice hot food from the best retatuants in Chinatown. His projected relase date is June 3, 2018. They are treating him a lot better than he treated some of his own tenants.