A Look At JFK’s Airport Chapel

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Inspiration, Queens, NY

By Emily Drooby

It’s Monday afternoon and a Mass being celebrated at JFK’s terminal four.

An airport is not a place many would expect to worship, but Mass is celebrated almost daily at Our Lady Of The Skies Chapel.

“This is the second oldest airport Chapel in the US,” said Father Chris Piasta, Chaplain, Lady of the Skies Chapel.

The chapel has a rich history. It was founded back in 1955 by a soldier back from World War II who had promised Mary he would do something special for her if he got home alive. In 2001, two chapel spaces later, this space was created and it houses the chapel to this day.

It is a full-service chapel. They perform weddings, baptisms and they even have an area where people can light a candle and give an offering.

“I come here with my daily difficulties that I go through with my work, managing the workforce and everything else and I come here and reflect upon it, and the day goes really well after that,” said Steven Aranha, a JFK employee.

Father Chris Piasta says they provide services for employees and those passing through the airport.

“Because wherever there are people there are problems and that’s where the church is supposed to be,” said Piasta.

TSA employees are experiencing problems right now, working without pay during the government shut down.

“I don’t see them willing to talk about it but I see an uptick of these people coming and stepping into the chapel. When I approach them and ask them about it, they just close their eyes. So, they rely on prayer,” said Piasta.

In the past that has included everything from those suffering from loss, to those stranded due to major events.