Friday, April 6, 2007

Easter Sunday in New York

Sculpture on facade of St. Bartholomew Church

Dear Postcard from New York Reader,

The restraints of Lent now over, this weekend Christians celebrate the high point of the Liturgical year. Easter services, with baptisms and candle lighting ceremonies, are traditionally the most beautiful. Richly embellished by full choirs and exquisite organ music, they are even more special when celebrated in one of the city’s extraordinary architectural wonders.

So, if you are on vacation or accustomed to attending a particular church, make the occasion one to remember. Choose from high vaulted cathedrals to jeweled chapels. Here's a schedule of some particularly beautiful services.

St. Bartholomew Church, Park Avenue at 51st Street, 212-757-7013,
Holy Saturday - The Vigil of Easter 7 PM
Easter Sunday - Services 8, 9, 11, & 1 PM

St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue at 53rd Street, 212-757-7013,
Holy Saturday - The Great Vigil and First Eucharist of Easter 5:30 PM
Easter Sunday - Services 8 and 11 AM, 3 PM Evensong

St. Patrick, Fifth Avenue at 50th Street, 212-753-2261,
Holy Saturday - Easter Vigil Mass 8 PM
Easter Sunday - Services 7, 8, 8:45, 12, 1, 4 (Spanish), 5:30. 10:15 Mass Cardinal Egan celebrant (reserved seating only by ticket.)

Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive at 120th Street, 212-870-6700,
Easter Sunday - Services 11 AM and 1 PM

Abyssinian Baptist Church, 132 West 138th Street, 212-862-7474,
Easter Sunday - Services 9 and 11 AM

Calvary Baptist Church, 123 West 57th Street, 212-975-0170,
Easter Sunday - Services 9 and 11 AM

St. George, 30 East 7th Street 212-674-1615,
Holy Saturday - Vespers 10:30 - 8 PM, Mass 10 PM
Easter Sunday - Services 8:30, 10, 12 Noon

Have a Wonderful Easter.

Jacqueline Cable
For Postcards from New York

Photo by Joseph Knight

Copyright 2007 The Cable Group

Monday, April 2, 2007

A Spa for the Soul

Loyola Retreat House

Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

Passover this evening marks the beginning of the most solemn week in the Jewish and Christian year. Some thoughts on a unique way to spend some time this week.

Spa vacations have become a staple of our youth pre-occupied culture to allow time to overhaul one’s body through vigorous exercise and pampering, explore diverse methods of relaxation from yoga to tai chi, and rediscover the benefits of healthy eating. Loyola Retreat House shares much in common with luxury spas like Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, and the Golden Door in Southern California, with one distinct difference. The beneficiary of your workout here, will be your spirit. This Retreat House is a "Spa for the Soul."

The house, set upon exquisite grounds reminiscent of a remote hideaway in upstate New York or Vermont, is very accessible, only minutes from downtown Morristown, New Jersey. Surrounded by thirty acres of lawns, sunken gardens, and woodland forest, the grounds are serene and beautiful no matter the time of year. Spring, summer, fall and winter, the special beauty of each season makes Loyola the perfect setting in which to explore and reawaken the innermost part of ones self.

Designed for quiet reflection and contemplation, Loyola’s magnificent grounds are a welcome respite from today’s fast paced technology-driven lifestyle. From the moment your car makes the turn onto the grounds, passes the gatehouse, and follows a tree-lined drive leading to the graceful white column fa├žade of the mansion, the peaceful landscape begins to work its magic. The frenetic energy of the world left behind seems a million miles away as this restful haven breathes a warm welcome to all who enter – from the first-time visitor to the seasoned retreatant returning for a 50th anniversary stay.

A typical weekend retreat begins on Friday evening with a scrumptious homemade dinner and ends Sunday after a delicious brunch. Jesuit priests and religious women present readings from scripture for meditation based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. Spaced throughout the weekend, the readings are voluntary and one can participate in some or all. There is ample time for personal contemplation, reflection, study, consultations with staff members and communal reception of the sacraments of reconciliation and healing. Inspired homilies enrich daily celebration of the Eucharist.

Comfortable sitting areas throughout the house, gardens and footpaths, a library lined with books, and a swimming pool for a leisurely dip during the hot summer, provide a quiet oasis to relax and take a deep breath.

Next month marks 80 years Loyola’s tranquil beauty has been a welcome beacon to thousands of guests. Many retreatants have made a yearly visit a priority for the last 25, 50 and more years!

However long or short the visit, one departs refreshed, inspired and invigorated. Imagine! All this for a tiny fraction of what you would easily spend for three days at Canyon Ranch or the Golden Door Spa.

Open to all faiths and denomination, a special Holy Week Sacred Triduum Retreat begins this week April 4-8. Days of recollection, weekend, mid-week, directed and preached retreats, as well as the entire Spiritual Exercises are available throughout the year.

Jacqueline Cable
For Postcards from New York

Address to remember: 161 James Street, Morristown, New Jersey, 973-539-0740.

Directions: Community Coach from New York Port Authority 8th Avenue and 42nd Street to Morristown, NJ. New Jersey Transit Morris/Essex Line from Penn Station to Morristown. Call Loyola for pick-up.

Photo courtesy of Loyola Retreat House

© Copyright 2007 The Cable Group