St. Jean Baptiste, 76th Street and Lexington Avenue
The parish's humble beginnings can be traced back to a rented room above a stable on 77th Street, nicknamed the "Crib of Bethlehem" due to the noise and smells from the horses below. The epic structure it is today is run by priests of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and the church is known for continuous exposure of the Eucharist and daily confession.
St. Patrick's Old Cathedral, 263 Mulberry Street
One of the most iconic places in New York's Catholic history. It was here that the "Fighting 69th" were blessed as they marched off to the Civil War; it was frequented by Venerable Pierre Toussaint; and it is the very church where St. John Neumann was ordained a priest. This first cathedral of New York holds stories that could (and do) fill libraries.
St. Vincent Ferrer, 869 Lexington Ave. at 65th Street
Run by the Dominican Friars, St. Vincent Ferrer's dedication on May 5, 1918, saw over 50,000 people fill the streets in celebration. In contemporary pop culture it is revered as the church that Andy Warhol frequently attended.
St. Paul the Apostle, 59th Street and Columbus Ave.
The Mother Church of the Paulist Fathers. Located at the northern end of Hell's Kitchen, it is a vibrant parish with six Masses celebrated each day. Its cavernous basement has been used as a homeless shelter, a rehearsal space for the Rockettes and a space for boxing matches.
Our Lady of Good Counsel, 230 East 90th Street
This church was built in the Yorkville section of the Upper East side at a time when the Catholic population was exploding. The area was attractive to laborers and their families due to its accessibility to factories like the nearby Steinway Piano Factory, which was just a ferry ride across the East River.
St. Francis Xavier Church, 36 W. 16th Street
Completed in 1882 after two previous structures were destroyed, the Jesuit run parish is also host to one of Downtown's best Catholic schools. The church was also featured in the Keanu Reeves movie John Wick and is the home parish of actress Katie Holmes.
The Shrine Parish of the Holy Innocents, 128 West 37th Street
Completed in 1870, this church's first parishioners had to contend with the large number of cows that wandered the streets and pastures surrounding the church while making their way to Mass. Today the parish has the world's only "Shrine of the Unborn," which is dedicated to children who died before or at birth.
The Church of the Blessed Sacrament, 152 West 71st Street
This parish also held its first Mass in a stable. It was celebrated by by its first pastor, Fr. Matthew Taylor, who had a strong devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Archbishop Corrigan had suggested the parish be named for St. Matthew, to which the young priest countered that it should be called Blessed Sacrament. The Archbishop graciously acquiesced.
St. Ignatius Loyola, 980 Park Avenue
Opened in 1900, the Jesuit-run parish, which operates one of the most successful Catholic schools, has been host to several high profile funerals, including those of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Aaliyah, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Oscar de la Renta.
St. Patrick's Cathedral, 5th Ave and 51st Street
The great cathedral was once ridiculed as "Hughes' Folly," mocking Archbishop Hughes in the mid 1800's for wanting to build a Cathedral so far "up north" where there was nothing but trees. But Hughes' prophetic vision was carried out and it sits proudly amongst the skyscrapers in what is now the center of the city.