By Jessica Easthope
The city that never sleeps is getting a chapel that never closes. Among the hustle and bustle, a blue door is leading the way to something Manhattan has never seen before.
“There’s this spiritual hunger to encounter Jesus Christ and this will be a place where people can encounter Him, his mercy and healing. The spiritual growth people are so hungry for will be right here in the heart of Manhattan,” said Father Boniface Endorf, the pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Greenwich Village.
Right now, it’s just a music room, but soon at the rectory of St. Joseph’s on 6th Avenue, Manhattan will have its first 24-hour adoration chapel.
Over the last several weeks, Washington Square Park and the surrounding Greenwich Village have been plagued with violence. Two people have been stabbed, one man robbed and another assaulted. Father Boniface says as crime is bubbling up and that the chapel will serve as a sanctuary at a time when New York City needs it most.
“Violence, crime, disorder are much higher down here in Greenwich Village than they were before and so what I see going on with all the crime is the great woundedness of our culture today and the great need for God and His grace,” he said.
With the support of Cardinal Dolan and the Archdiocese of New York, St. Joseph’s Church raised $600,000 for the chapel. Colin Nykaza, the director for young adult outreach for the New York Archdiocese says the chapel, though only big enough to fit about 25 people at a time, will have the power to draw in the masses and end the chaos on the city’s streets.
“His light, His love, His mercy will go right from that Eucharist into the entire neighborhood and so I can almost guarantee you will see a slow change with the violence that’s been happening around here as time goes on,” Colin said.
Construction is expected to start by the end of the summer and the chapel finished in time for Easter.