The Church of St. John the Baptist is a Roman Catholic parish church in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, located at 211 West 30th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues in the Fur District of the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. To the church's rear is the Capuchin Monastery of St. John the Baptist, located at 210 West 31st Street across from Pennsylvania Station and Madison Square Garden.Use our New York City holiday builder site to add St. John the Baptist Church and other attractions to your New York City vacation plans.
The parish was established in 1840 as the second parish to serve German Catholics in New York City, after St. Nicholas' Church, on East 2nd Street, which was established in 1833. An historian noted: "Both German parishes had lay trustees that were so overbearing that they drove out several pastors."
The first church erected was a small timber structure. It was dedicated 20 September 1840. The first pastor was the Rev. Zachary Kunze, O.F.M., who, following disharmony with the lay Board of Trustees, resigned in 1844. Kunze left with a portion of the congregation and founded the nearby Church of St. Francis of Assisi. The problems were so great with the Board of Trustees that, following the resignation of Kunze, the parish of St. John the Baptist was under interdict until 1845 when the Rev. J. A. Jakob became its second pastor. More disagreements ensued and the church was again closed in June 1846. It variously reopened with different pastors, but burned down on 10 January 1847.
St. John the Baptist Church Reviews
I was looking for something to do around Madison Square Garden. This church is beautiful! The staff was welcoming and it was a nice, air conditioned place to admire and say a few prayers. more »
We stopped in to look at the architecture and the gentlemen was very nice. He allowed us to look around. So friendly. more »
Visited St. John the Baptist on Holy Thursday as part of the seven Churches pilgrimage and totally loved the prayerful atmosphere that pervades this space. Each church has its own vibration and here it was nourishing and unpretentious. When you visit check out the Stations of the Cross, I particularly liked how they were vibrant statues.
I am grateful to have visited this church many times. It's almost always not crowded compared with the other nearby Catholic churches in this area and I even get the chance to hear mass at times. It's right next to Penn Station, and I am glad it's still around despite its age as well as its value among the existing real estate properties in this area.
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