The Franciscan Church
of the Assumption
On August 5, 2012, Chris and I wrote a post about the Shrine and Museum of Saint Marianne Cope (you can find it here). I won’t re-tell the story about what she did that is so famous (you will have to go back to the original post and read about it!) but I will tell you that she was officially canonized, making her a saint on October 21, 2012 and yes, we got a little ahead of ourselves by calling her a saint in August. But anyways, when we were at the Shrine of Saint Marianne Cope in Syracuse, New York, we met a member of the laity to the existing Franciscan convent named Jean Anne. Jean Anne explained to us then that the church of the Franciscans, known as the Franciscan Church of the Assumption, was just around the corner and that we should definitely check it out. After we left the Shrine, Chris and I actually did go drive by the Franciscan Church but due to it being late in the day and simply being tired, Chris and I took a rain check.
Almost a year later, Chris and I made plans to return to the Syracuse area during the New York Landmarks Conservancy Sacred Sites program in order to see what Chris wrote about last week (found here). We originally did not even plan on going to see the Franciscan Church of the Assumption because we felt like we may not be able to do it justice since we felt like we had a busy day. Plus, we also learned that the Franciscan Church was not even participating in the Sacred Sites program. However, not to be put off by Chris feeling “too busy” or by the lack of participation in the Sacred Sites program, I called ahead and after several phone calls back and forth, I was able to schedule us an exclusive tour of the place when it is not usually open. Read more
Categories: #SYR, Roman Catholic
Tags: #SYR, Apostle, Baptistry, Central New York, Franciscan, Franciscan Church of the Assumption, Grotto Church, North Syracuse, Saint Marianne Cope, Syracuse
Once a year, the New York Landmarks Conservancy organizes the Sacred Sites Program and holy destinations from Buffalo to the Bronx open their doors to any visitor interested in seeing their historic sanctuaries, allowing for a veritable church-hopping experience for those of us who are interested. Since Luke and I have a ‘To Do List’ that spans most of Upstate NY, we were really counting on the May 18-19 event to allow us an opportunity to forego the leg work of cold calling places and asking for someone to be kind enough to show us around. Unfortunately, due to a combination of our regular diligence and a Sacred Sites tour list that was surprisingly meager in Upstate NY, there wasn’t much for us to take advantage of. However, there was one spot in particular that had been on our list for over a year, and it was one of the participating sites. It was a no brainer, we planned months ahead of time to go see the meeting place of one of the oldest Jewish congregations in the entire country.
We arrived pretty early in the day and found a parking spot on Madison Street, and walked around the building taking photos and taking in the visuals that are the artwork of famed American-born Jewish architect Arnold Brunner. Though he hailed from NYC, Brunner had a strong connection to Syracuse and native Louis Marshall who began the ball rolling of commissioning the architect to design their temple. The building sits up high on a hill with a long set of steps to ascend, and when standing at the bottom and looking up, the entire building’s Greek Doric style architecture gives an incredible stately presence. Normally I’m wowed by building facades that are complex and involved (see Blessed Trinity, one of my favorite facades), but the uncluttered harmony of the classic style really commands a sense of respect. After we poked around a bit outside, we climbed the stairs to get a closer look at the columns and plaques and inscriptions on the front of the building. Read more
Chris, Magur Chana (General Secretary of Sikh Gurdwara of Rochester), and Luke
In December 2011, Luke and I created the initial list of places we wanted to see and made a plan to begin checking them off. We planned to spend every weekend thereafter tirelessly clamoring around Upstate NY knocking on the doors of sacred grounds in hopes to experience them first hand. Our first day out was the first Saturday in January and was a bust–every place we went was locked. We sat in our car and began calling places to see who might be open and received only recorded messages. We realized that we were gonna have to plan a bit better and not just wing it by showing up on a church doorstep uninvited. We sat down at the South Wedge Diner and made a plan, and that’s when things got really serious.
Categories: #BUF, #ROC, #SYR, General
Tags: #ROC, Asbury United Methodist Church, Auriesville NY, basilica, Buddhism, Buddhist, Buffalo, Burned Over District, Catholic, Central NY, Christianity, City of Rochester, Hill Cumorah, Kateri Tekakwitha, Rochester, Rochester NY, Second Great Awakening, Upstate NY
From 1880 – 1920, more than 20 million “new immigrants” came to the United States of America, which meant that unlike the previous decades of immigration by Western Europeans to America, these new immigrants were primarily from Southern and Eastern Europe. Due to the ease of travel on the Erie Canal, Upstate, NY experienced a large influx of immigration as well, with Polish immigrants seeming to be especially attracted to the Upstate area. Even today one can continue to see remnants of the once thriving Polish communities in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. One of the things that especially attracted the Polish immigrants to Syracuse, NY was the city’s prosperous salt industry, which many Poles were familiar with since Poland itself is known for its own worldwide salt production.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus + War Memorial Monument
With the large influx of Polish immigrants to Syracuse, NY came new customs and belief systems, as well as the establishment of their own church. The parish of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was founded on June 12, 1892. Today, when you drive on 690 South towards downtown Syracuse, if you look out the window on the right, you can see the two spires of the modern day Basilica. However, the original church was actually a simply two-story building on the opposite side of the street from where the modern day Basilica is located. As more and more Polish immigrants came to Syracuse, the community quickly realized they needed a bigger structure. Through donations and hard work from the Polish community, ground was broken in 1907 and the current structure located at 927 Park Avenue was finished and dedicated on June 5, 1910. Read more
The entrance to the Chapel at Motherhouse
2012 will prove to be a big year for Catholics in Upstate NY. This fall Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate World Mission Sunday by declaring seven new saints, two of which are women who hail from Upstate NY. Both Kateri Tekekwitha, known as ‘The Lily of the Mohawks’ (Fonda, NY) and Blessed Marianne Cope (Syracuse, NY) had their sainthood causes advanced in December of 2011, and the ceremony on October 21 will forever mark the day when both women are fully recognized as Saints. In the Catholic Church, there is a strict process for proving and overseeing the proof that exemplifies the quality of life that one lived. During the course of the review, the individual will become known as each of the following, 1. The Servant of God, 2. Declaration ‘Non Cultus’, 3. Venerable, 4. Blessed (the seven saints mentioned above are currently in this stage), and then finally, 5. Saint. To be designated a Saint, one must have performed two miracles after death. Blessed Marianne Cope’s second miracle was accepted by the Pope last December.
There are only a few saints with ties to the Upstate NY area, so visiting the Shrine of Blessed Marianne Cope was a no brainer–it was one of the original places we put on our “Needs to Happen” list. For Catholics, it’s been a sacred place for years and years, and within just a couple months, the legacy that Marianne Cope has left will be known worldwide. We actually made a full day out of our trip to Syracuse and went to see a whole bunch of places, a few of them you won’t hear about since they are secular, but there are a few others that will pop up in later blog entries.
Categories: #SYR, Roman Catholic
Tags: Cannonization, Central NY, CNY, Gandhi, Hawaii, Kateri Tekekwitha, Leper, leprosy, Marianne Cope, miracle, Molokai, Oahu, Saint, Saint Father Damien, Saint Marianne Cope, Syracuse, syracuse ny