Visita Iglesia goes on walking tour of 7 Manhattan churches

St Patrick's Cathedral is where it all begins

St Patrick’s Cathedral is where it all begins

The forecast for March 28 is breezy with possibly an afternoon shower. For many of us who grew up doing the Visita Iglesia in the sweltering heat of Manila, this kind of weather breaks the mold.

The Catholic Fellowship of Young Filipino Professionals is inviting Filipinos in the New York Tri-State to join in the observance of the Lenten tradition. Seven Manhattan churches are in the itinerary:

St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Entrance at 5th Ave. or Madison Ave.
bet. 50th + 51st Streets

St. Agnes
143 E 43rd St. bet. Lexington + 3rd Ave.

St. Agnes

St. Agnes

Holy Family
315 E 47th St. bet. 1st + 2nd Ave.

St. John the Martyr
348 E 55th St. bet. 1st + 2nd Ave.

Our Lady of Peace
237 E 62nd St. bet. 2nd + 3rd Ave.

St. Catherine of Sienna
411 E 68th St. bet. 1st + York Ave.

St. Vincent Ferrer
869 Lexington Ave. at 66th St.

The tradition of worship-hopping during Lent is said to have originated during the Spanish colonial era. It is usually observed on Maundy Thursday when Filipinos — with their friends and families — visit several churches to recite the Stations of the Cross. The objective is to visit seven churches — in reference to the seven holy sites in the scriptures – but some observe the tradition with two or three churches.

The Visita Iglesia is common not only in the Philippines but in other deeply Catholic countries, such as Poland and Ireland. It is a time of when Catholics meditate on the death of Christ on Good Friday.

During the Visita Iglesia in New York, participants will be praying the Stations of the Cross at every church until they have completed all seven churches. The starting point is St. Patrick’s Cathedral where the group attends the 5:30 p.m. mass.

“It will most likely be crowded but if you would like to sit with us, we plan to be seated on the leftmost side facing the altar closer to the front,” said Bel Molina, one of the organizers.

Participants may join at any point during the Visita, and they’re asked to contact Joe Valdez at 917-494-6234 to coordinate.

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