Rorate Caeli

You Report: The Traditional Latin Mass in New York City

Pontifical Low Mass of Bishop Fernando Rifan in the Church of the Holy Innocents, June 18, 2009

Cardinal Egan attending a Solemn Mass in the Church of the Holy Innocents, March 25, 2010.

Churches in New York City with regular Traditional Latin Masses
(An article written by Mr. Eddy Toribio upon the request of Rorate Caeli)

Church of the Holy Innocents
– 128 W. 37th St. bet. Broadway & 7th Ave.
– Monday through Friday at 6pm with a Sung Mass on Wednesdays.
– Mass at 1pm Saturdays organized by Una Voce NY.

Since the Motu Proprio, the pastor of this church has been very open to the idea of having the traditional Mass there. Starting a daily Mass was his own initiative. The Confraternity of the Sacred Heart and some servers were very instrumental in assisting the pastor to get in touch with priests and servers who would help say and serve the Mass.

In June 2009, Bishop Fernando Rifan celebrated a Pontifical Low Mass. There were two chaplains and two acolytes to help with this Mass.

We have also had a Pontifical Requiem Mass at the Faldstool in this church on All Souls’ Day with the full cooperation of the pastor. The celebrant was Bishop Timlin. The Rite of Absolution was part of the ceremonies on this day and tapers were distributed for the congregation at the appropriate times. (For more pictures, go here: Solemn Pontifical Requiem Mass at Church of the Holy Innocents).

There was a traditional Solemn Midnight Mass that was well attended. It was attended by many (young) people/families we had not seen before. A professional choir was hired for this Mass. (Sadly, we do not have pictures of this Mass).

On March 25th, we had Solemn Mass with Cardinal Egan attending in choir The pastor allowed the Low Altar to be moved so that the ceremonies could be carried out with more ease and better precision and decorum. (For pictures of this Mass, go here: Mass at Holy Innocents for the Feast of the Annunciation.)

The Pastor has also graciously allowed many Sung and Solemn Masses for special occasions and has encouraged regular parishioners to attend the traditional Mass as well. He also decided to learn to say and sing the traditional Mass, which he now does once or twice a week.

Last but certainly not least, we were able to have the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) ceremonies according to the traditional books. (For pictures of Holy Thursday, go here: Holy Thursday Mass at Holy Innocents Church.)

There is also a Chant class that takes place every Wednesday to motivate people to join the choir for the sung Masses on Wednesdays and to become familiarized with Gregorian Chant in general.

Church of St. Agnes
East 43rd Street
Between Lexington & Third Aves.
– Only on Sundays – there’s almost never any interest in having Masses other than on Sundays.
– Last Monday of the month by the Purgatorial Society.

Mount Carmel
East 116th Street (Spanish Harlem).
– Every Sunday at 10am. A Sung Mass is done on the last Sunday of the month.

The story behind the Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel has an interesting history. It had been authorized with all necessary permissions by Fr. Marini (Chancery at St. Patrick’s Cathedral) via phone call on the direction of Cardinal O'Connor. It occurred right after permission was given under Ecclesia Dei for Masses on Sundays (in 1988). Permission was then received for any Masses needed – weekdays, requiems and weddings, and baptisms. Because there was never a demand for weekday Masses, the Mass here is still done only on Sundays and on the Feast of Mt. Carmel. They used to do Holy Days, the Feast (July 16th) and the old Epiphany Octave because it was a tradition of the Pallottines (the society of apostolic life that is still active in this church).

In the mid-1990’s, there were many Liturgies according to the many Eastern Rites (except the Chaldean one) in an attempt to build a congregation. According to some, the Syrian Rite was the most beautiful of the Eastern Liturgies. This was done for about 5 years and then it was stopped because the people who used to attend them lost interest or could not attend anymore.

Church of Our Saviour

59 Park Avenue at East 38th Street
– Sung Masses every Sunday at 9am (except when the choir is on vacation).

Church of the Guardian Angel
193 10th Ave. at West 21st Street.
– Only on 1st Fridays at 6:30 PM
– Sponsored by the Confraternity of the Sacred Heart

Other churches in NYC that offer the traditional Mass:

Our Lady of Peace
522 Carroll Street
– Sundays at 9:30 AM

St. John's Chapel
St. John's Cemetery, Middle Village
– Sundays at 9 AM

St. Fidelis Church
123-06 14th Ave., College Point (Q65 Bus)
– First and 3rd Fridays at 7 AM

The Bronx:
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church
627 E. 187th Street (at Arthur Ave.)
– Sundays at 8:30 AM

St. Barnabas Church
409 E. 241st Street
– 3rd Sundays at 2:30 PM

St. Margaret of Cortona
6000 Riverdale Ave. at 260th Street
First Sunday of the Month at 3 PM

Fordham University Chapel
– 1st Fridays at 12 PM
Call for info: (718) 817-1000

(CAP note: other information has it that the Mass in Fordham is every Monday, 9:15 P.M.)

They had their first Solemn Mass on February 28th. For pictures of this Mass, go here: Solemn Traditional Mass at the Chapel of Fordham University.

An array of links to photographs of Traditional Masses in various churches in NYC can be found here: Mass Photos and Footage.


  1. Anonymous4:19 PM

    What is the Right Of Absolution?

  2. Anonymous5:00 PM

    They always use that tired excuse "Never any interest." Just DO it, and you'll see just how many are really interested in it. If St. Agnes had the Tridentine Mass as their very first Mass each day, I guarantee you that people would begin to flock to it. St. Agnes is in a better "business" district than Holy Innocents.

    They are just afraid of putting the novus ordo Mass out of business.


  3. THe mass at St Agnes on Sunday is wonderful. My favourite in the United States.

  4. Anonymous6:25 PM

    I am really suprised that the TLM has taken off so much in NYC, after the previous Cardinal's opposition.

    At least in one Archdiocese of the world, we can say that the Roman Catholic faith is on its way back to life.

  5. Thomas John7:53 PM

    Spot on, Delphina.

    It seems one is either drawn and fed by the irreducible silence which nobly pervades the ancient mass (uniquely the low mass) or feels confronted by it. Noisy lives, as almost all of ours are, at the same time seek the silence of God, yet are distracted without constant noise and disjointed interruptions. It touches on the baseness of the culture we live in. Daily 6am 7am Masses in the ancient form. Pews will fill. Things will change. Interior lives will change. The Holy Sacrifice, in silence, in churches and souls. An idea worth championing.

  6. Anonymous8:02 PM

    Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Forrest Hills, I requested it and inquired and spoke woth Father who bluntly said "Not while I am Pastor of this Church"..."You can go to the Cemetary location" Also "So you like your Priest mumbling in Latin, which I don't even know"...100% true and a hurtful, uncharitable attitude. Now they are engulfed in another type of scandal. I never went back and attend in Manhattan. And a beautiful Gothic Cathedral it is, a shame really.

  7. Anonymous10:03 PM

    Thomas John

    Can you just imagine it? I can, and what you wrote is exactly what I had in mind. Pretty soon, it would be SRO. But they are afraid of, as I said, putting the novus ordo out of business. That's their baby.


  8. Anonymous10:34 PM

    Good news, but you'd think in New York City you could find daily Mass in the EF.
    Is it true they are using the EF in the Chinese Patriotic Church? Is it true that differences with Rome are being worked out?

  9. Thomas John11:16 PM

    It is a shame, Anon 20:02. I'm struck by the number of traditional Latin Masses shunted off as it were to cemetary locations. Anyone notice that trend over the past few years? Many are the priests who hope to bury it there, I expect. That won't happen. In the meanwhile, don't be afraid. We seek the One who is risen, to worship God in the ancient form of the Sacrifice, and, in the end, the Holy Virgin will triumph, She who 'kept all these things, and pondered them in her Heart', a Heart of silence and true faith, the true Cenacle. This is why the ancient form of the Mass is bearing fruit in the world. It must increase!

  10. Thomas John11:25 PM

    You are right, Delphina. And where they are not worried of putting the novus ordo out of business they are besotted with the ill psychological fruits of a concocted liturgy. God forbid, it is a blinding force for many people. We know the holy silence of the ancient Roman liturgy is of the Holy Ghost, let us insist that early morning Masses in the ancient form be given a chance to invigorate the Church. I believe this is especially urgent in urban areas sustainable by numbers. From there, who knows the reach of such a mission?

  11. Anonymous12:36 AM

    Most of the Masses are the same as the indult time. Nothing new in Queens and Brooklyn, forget about Staten Island, and the one in Holy Innocents started at the same time the one in Our Lady of Good Counsel on the Upper East Side was stopped. The location is not great, especially at night, where they had Good Friday Liturgy. In 1996 they had the Tridentine Mass in St. Patrick's and the crowds were onto the sidewalk. It was a massive turnout. And not since in our Cathedral. To give it and take it away is a problem. People here want to experince this as part of their life. Not a fleeting moment or for nostalgic reasons. New Yorkers are distrustful in general and yet can be among the most faithful and appreciative. We are always on the move and telling a New Yorker to take 2 or 3 subways to an out of the way part of town does not work for most of them. It is a city of convenience and the Mass must appeal to that sense or it will become "ghettoized" to coin an ugly term. If the new Bishop is truly supportive of the TLM and NY's love for the TLM as exhibited in the 1996 turnout, then he will widely, and openly make it convenient for people to get to. A city like NY should have many more than the Arlington Diocease in VA. for example.

  12. "Good news, but you'd think in New York City you could find daily Mass in the EF."

    As indicated in the article, the TLM is available Monday to Saturday in the Church of the Holy Innocents. There are 6 churches in NYC where it is available every Sunday, and 2 more where it is available one Sunday a month.

  13. "Is it true they are using the EF in the Chinese Patriotic Church?"

    Until 1992, yes. The Chinese Novus Ordo was introduced in Shanghai that year, and the Chinese Catholics (both Patriotic and underground) have since then switched mostly to the Novus Ordo. However, I'm told that many elderly priests continue to say the TLM early in the morning (every morning in the "Patriotic" cathedral in Beijing, for instance, or so I've been told.)

    "Is it true that differences with Rome are being worked out?"

    Depends on who you're talking to. The ambiguity which allows "Patriotic" clergy to officially be loyal servants of the state-subservient Church, on one hand, and to "unofficially" be in "communion" with Rome on the other hand, has got to be one of the worst ecclesiological messes in the history of Catholicism.

  14. Anonymous1:12 PM

    There is a weekly Sunday 12:15 pm TLM at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Rt. 17 So., Tuxedo, N.Y.

  15. Just a little north of NYC -

    There is a weekly Sunday 3PM Mass at Immaculate Conception Church, Sleepy Hollow, NY. (Holy days too - check website for time or contact info:

  16. John McFarland8:15 PM

    The post-Vatican II archbishops of New York and bishops of Brooklyn see nothing to be gained by pretending that the new Mass wasn't meant to bury the old Mass, and if left to their own devices would finish the burial in the Big Town. They're willing to humor the Pope a bit, but not very much. They'd tolerate more old Masses if there were significant public agitation by people they saw some purpose in humoring, but there won't be. As the prophet says: like priest, like people.

  17. Anonymous6:47 PM

    The only way to bring back the Latin Mass on the parish level is for the flock to withhold weekly contributions until it is brought back. Sad but true. I live in Queens and go to Manhattan every week to be part of the Latin Mass.


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