short story

Ambience: The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral

©2017  E. R. Smith All Rights Reserved

Photos taken with my old Samsung S4 cell phone camera.

Vibrant The Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral’s altar


I have always loved visiting houses of worship.  I have visited mosques, Baptist churches, and synagogs.  I believe a higher power of Goodness is everywhere.  One of my favorite sites is The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  It sits on 260-264 Mulberry Street between Prince and Houston Streets, in New York City.  The historic structure was constructed

The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral

from 1809-1815.   It was the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese until 1879 when St. Patrick’s opened.  The baptism scene from The Godfather was filmed here, as was a clip from Godfather III.  I was visiting the church as a parent helper with St. Raymond’s youth choir a few years ago when I took these photos.  

The beautiful gothic revival style artwork of Joseph Francois Mangin caught my eye as soon as I entered the church.  The power and majesty of the carvings announce that one is in the house of God.  I did a brief research on the church beforehand and was struck by its long standing significance in  the community.  The historical significance of praying in a house where Haitian born Pierre Toussaint; and first American born saint Mother Elizabeth  Ann Seton also worshipped in was a bit mind blowing. Toussaint was a former slave who gained his freedom then became the leader of the free black community of New York.  Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton worked to create the first parochial school, initially for girls.  She was canonized in 1975.

These two great examples of faith in action; embolden me to move forward with plans, hopes, and dreams.  That is the ambience of this stunning house of prayer, an aura of possibility.


  1. This post makes me want to visit The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
    I’ve never enjoyed reading history but the way you put it made me want to read it.
    Please keep writing!!


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