Churches of New York City: Our Lady of Guadalupe at Saint Bernard

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Spiritual Sanctuary on West 14 Street, Manhattan

The colorful fence at Our Lady of Guadalupe at Saint Bernard Church on West 14 Street in New York City beckons visitors. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The colorful fence at Our Lady of Guadalupe at Saint Bernard Church on West 14 Street in New York City beckons visitors. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The bluish-greenish gates of a church on West 14 capture the attention of the Brawny Sherpa and me as we are heading vaguely back uptown after a visit to the High Line in Chelsea. Should we go in? Others are. The door is open. Let’s check it out.

Reflect, rejoice, or do both at the colorful Our Lady of Guadalupe at Saint Bernard Church in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Reflect, rejoice, or do both at the colorful Our Lady of Guadalupe at Saint Bernard Church in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

What amazes about New York City is that a visitor can be walking on a major cross street people watching and window shopping and absorbing the honks and the sounds of the city and then waltz up a set of steps to meet a calming hush of a church. The setup tends to be the same: The guy on the front tends to be in the center at the far end. Sunlight shining through jewel-colored stained glass makes the interior seem brighter, more mystical.

Spanish influences are abundant at Our Lady of Guadalupe at Saint Bernard Church in Manhattan. Our Lady of Guadalupe was established in 1902 as the first Catholic parish in the city offering mass in Spanish as well as Latin. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Spanish influences are abundant at Our Lady of Guadalupe at Saint Bernard Church in Manhattan. Our Lady of Guadalupe was established in 1902 as the first Catholic parish in the city offering mass in Spanish as well as Latin. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe was established in 1902 as the first Catholic parish in the city featuring mass in Spanish as well as Latin. At the time, this part of Chelsea was known as ‘Little Spain.’ In 2003, the parish merged with the parish of Saint Bernard, a church that had been built from 1873 to 1875.

A depiction of Saint Martin at Our Lady of Guadalupe at Saint Bernard Church in New York City. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

A depiction of Saint Martin at Our Lady of Guadalupe at Saint Bernard Church in New York City. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Go in for the bright colors, the sense of holiness, the sanctuary from the craziness of the city. Light a candle for the dead, sit in peace, and, just maybe, pray.

A representation of the body of Christ at Our Lady of Guadalupe at Saint Bernard Church in New York City. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

A representation of the body of Christ at Our Lady of Guadalupe at Saint Bernard Church in New York City. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

When You Go

  • Churches are perfect places for bashful adventurers—they are quiet and welcome reflection.
  • Colorful art in the church appeals to some visitors, but those used to more somber places of worship may be surprised by the brightness of it.

Our Lady of Guadalupe at Saint Bernard, 328 West 14 Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, New York, N.Y. 10014

—Lori Tripoli

Our Lady of Guadalupe figure at Our Lady of Guadalupe at Saint Bernard Church in New York City. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Our Lady of Guadalupe figure at Our Lady of Guadalupe at Saint Bernard Church in New York City. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

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