A visit to NYC’s first perpetual adoration chapel

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NYC Adoration chapel
Manhattan's first perpetual adoration chapel, pictured on July 30, 2023, is located securely in the rectory adjacent to St. Joseph Church in Greenwich Village. The 25-seat chapel allows 24-hour access for adorers. (OSV News photo/Jeff Bruno)

“Free humanity.” That’s a bit of graffiti I saw after visiting the Catholic Center at New York University yesterday. It was emphasized by a heart. At the time, an ice-cream truck was beside it on a hot summer’s day. But there was something more refreshing not too far away. If you look to the right, you see an image of Jesus on the cross. Breaking news: It’s happened already. Jesus has freed humanity.

And then some.

I was in that neighborhood — across the street from Washington Square Park — not because I was dropping off a college student or wanted to take a walk in the park, but because I was making my maiden visit to the first perpetual adoration chapel in Manhattan.

You read that right. The capital of the world, if you listen to us chauvinistic natives, didn’t have a chapel dedicated to adoring the Lord of the universe until a few weeks ago.

I should say for us — for lack of a better way of putting it — maybe the parishes most considered liberal (pride Mass and such) and conservative (ministered by Opus Dei) have had, for years, Eucharistic adoration and confession and Masses throughout the day. Both in midtown, one a stone’s throw from Grand Central Station. But all hours of the day? It’s been but a dream, until Dominican friar Father Boniface Endorf, OP, made it happen.

God made it happen

Honestly, I consider Father Boniface a hero for pulling it off. We shouldn’t say such things about living beings, because we are all works in progress. But we also have to encourage one another. The man helped me in a most pathetic hour of need some years ago, for which I will be eternally grateful. (More than once, if you include confession!) And he’s doing the same not just for the city of New York, but for our nation in need.

If you walk outside St. Joseph’s to the southern corner, you can see that park I mentioned. I’m not being overly dramatic in calling it the heart of darkness. Pagan rituals. Sexual acts. Demons crying out. I’m not kidding you. I’ve witnessed some of it. I’ve heard way-too-fresh testimonies from witnesses as well. One winter’s day, I thought it would be safe to go through, with the blankets of snow glistening. No. It wasn’t. A man found me who I will be praying for until my dying day.

Could we take a moment for those who are plagued by evil?

I tell you this because St. Joseph’s in Greenwich Village is the perfect place for a perpetual adoration chapel in the city that never sleeps. And yet, in its early days, the schedule of adorers is still coming together. Attention: New York City. He built it. Come.

And, of course, by “he,” I mean, sure, Father Boniface was the instrument, but God made it happen. And he beckons us to enter the ultimate of all lighthouses to be a beacon of hope for not just my city, but our country and the world.

Adoring Jesus in the Eucharist

When we go to Jesus in the Eucharist and acknowledge not only our need but also his power, we say more than words ever can.


We all have incomplete understandings. Jesus will sort us out!

The U.S. bishops have the ongoing Eucharistic Revival. But the existence of this new perpetual adoration chapel — still in its embryonic stage of life — calls out to each and every one of us: What am I doing to revive love of the Eucharistic Lord? How am I adoring him? How am I radiating him?

We’re at the beginning of another presidential election season. It looks a little like the madness of Washington Square Park, to be honest. What’s more powerful than politics? Who do we go to for truth?

That new chapel in New York City points the way. And beckons to us all, in NYC and beyond — what am I doing to be a living, breathing, walking Eucharistic Revival? To be a monstrance in the world?

First step: If a perpetual adoration chapel exists in your area, sign up!

Kathryn Jean Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and editor-at-large of National Review.