Holy Cross Founded 1852
Saint John the Baptist Founded 1840
Holy Cross-Saint John the Baptist Merged 2015
A Ministry of the Capuchin Franciscan Friars of the Archdiocese of New York
Church of the Holy Cross
Holy Cross, founded in 1852, has been serving the people of God in Times Square, the "Crossroads of the World," and the neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen for generations. It is perhaps one of the most well known churches in New York. An oasis of peace and serenity in one of the busiest areas of New York City, it is a beautiful and sacred space that welcomes many people over the course of the day. Here, as a parish community, we give daily thanks to God in the Eucharist, in a place serving as a beacon of faith, hope and charity.
Our mission is fulfilled in preaching the Word of God, administering the sacraments, and performing the works of mercy and justice. Crossroads Food Pantry serves thousands of households thanks to our volunteers and benefactors. The lay missionaries of LAMP Ministries touch passers-by on 42nd Street. Our Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Committee seeks to transform society through faith-rooted campaigns to raise up the poor and protect our planet.
It is a daunting task to continue serving here in Times Square. With the prayerful assistance and generosity of our parishioners and friends we do the utmost to administer the programs, finances, and facilities of Holy Cross responsibly. Together, staff, parishioners, visitors, and friends make Holy Cross the "Miracle on 42nd Street."
About the church building
The first chapel was erected in 1852. The congregation outgrew it quickly. In 1854, a new building was constructed and dedicated, but lightning struck this second structure in 1867, and the ensuing fire severely damaged it. The current church was constructed to a design by Henry Engelbert on the site of the damaged building and completed in 1870.
The exterior of Holy Cross Church shows a red brick facade with flanking twin towers in an Italianate Gothic form. Inside, the church reveals an eclectic mixture of Georgian, Romanesque and Byzantine forms. The main dimensions are 100 feet from front to back and 82 feet from side to side, where the configuration completes the suggestion of a cross. A dome, surmounted by a cross, rises above the intersection of nave and transept. From curb level to the top of the cross is a distance of 148 feet. The nine stained-glass windows in the chancel were made by Mayer & Company of Munich. Louis Comfort Tiffany designed the mosaics below the dome and in the sanctuary. Tiffany also designed the stained glass of the clerestory windows and wheel windows of the transepts. (Summary from Wikipedia)
For more architectural details, click here.
Church of Saint John the Baptist
Founded 21 years before the U.S. Civil War, Saint John the Baptist has remained an historic, beautiful sanctuary in the heart of New York City. Open for prayer and liturgy every day of the year, it serves as the Shrine of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio).
The Saint John Bread of Life Food Pantry serves thousands of our needy neighbors throughout the year. The Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Committee organizes members of both Holy Cross and Saint John the Baptist and meets regularly at both church sites.
About the church building
- French Gothic design, modeled on the 13th-century Cathedral of Rheims, with eight bays, high vaulted ceilings, and a three-tiered design of nave arcade, triforium, and clerestory, filled with light.
- Original church built 1840 by the German immigrant community, destroyed by fire in 1847, and rebuilt in brick. In 1852, Capuchin friars were called to serve the parish.
- New church completed 1871 by the celebrated architect Napoleon LeBrun, who also designed the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, the Church of Saint Michael on West 34th Street, Manhattan; the Episcopal Church of Saint Mary the Virgin on West 46th Street, Manhattan; and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower on Madison Avenue, Manhattan (the world's tallest building from 1909 to 1913).
- Bell tower (finished 1890): height 227 feet; its five great bells, weighing from 1,500 to 7,000 pounds, were blessed and named St. John the Baptist, St. Joseph, Ave Maria, St. Clare, and St. Fidelis.
- Nineteenth-century stained glass windows: crafted by artisans of the Tyrolese Art Glass Co., Innsbruck, Austria.
- Stations of the Cross, vibrantly sculpted in the round.
- The Shrine Chapel of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
- Convent of the Sisters of Saint Dominic (1885) now houses the church reception area, offices, and friary.
Both Holy Cross and Saint John the Baptist are open to all every day. We warmly welcome you to visit and to pray with us at both church sites.