Visit the city's oldest churches and shrines and explore its rich Catholic history.
If you’ve had your fill of Broadway shows and shopping and are looking for something decidedly different to do while visiting New York City, here’s an itinerary for a grand tour of Catholic New York.
Starting in lower Manhattan, take a tour of the historic sites that tell the story of New York’s Catholic past and present, from the city’s first Catholic church to a museum that brings medieval Europe to life.
1. St. Peter Church at Ground Zero
Start your tour off in lower Manhattan with a visit to St. Peter Church, the oldest Catholic church in New York State. With the help of a donation of 1,000 silver pieces from King Charles II of Spain, the original church was built in 1785.
It was at St. Peter’s that St. Elizabeth Ann Seton had her First Communion after converting from the Episcopal to the Catholic Church. Seton sat for hours at the church’s altar contemplating the painting “The Crucifixion,” by Mexican artist Jose Vallejo, which still hangs in the present-day church.
Rebuilt in 1836 in Greek revival style, the church, stands at the heart of New York’s financial districts. Located a block from the site of the September 11, 2001 attack, it served emergency workers at the World Trade Center.
Address: St. Peter Roman Catholic Church, 22 Barclay Street