Although the church doors remained closed, parishioners and friends of Our Lady of Peace on East 62nd Street still participated in the New York Landmarks Conservancy Sacred Sites Open House yesterday, holding their events on the street. More than 30 parishioners, neighbors, and supporters attended a Sacred Sites Concert, performed by The Patriot Brass Ensemble, followed by a rosary novena, and refreshments after the concert. The Friends of Our Lady of Peace, Inc. sponsored the event.
Our Lady of Peace is recognized as a sacred site and architectural gem by the New York Landmarks Conservancy and Friends of the Upper East Side. The architectural anchor of the Treadwell Farm Historic District, the church was designated as a landmark in 1967 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The Church of Our Lady of Peace is included in the National Registry of Historic Places and was featured in the New York Landmarks Conservancy Annual Sacred Site Open House Tour in 2015, among 150 other houses of worship in the state.
This year was the New York Landmark’s Conservancy’s Sixth Annual Sacred Sites Open House, and the 30th anniversary of the Sacred Sites program. Houses of worship are encouraged to participate to build broad community support for the ongoing preservation of historic institutions and inspire residents to be tourists in their own town.
Guests included a New York University professor of religion, parish rosary group members, and Treadwell Farm Historic District neighbors. The occasion marked the 11th time the Patriot Brass Ensemble, a non-profit organization with a mission to provide music for Veterans, performed sacred and secular music at the Church Our Lady of Peace. Their musical selections brought tears to the eyes of several parishioners, as powerful hymns, including "How Great Thou Art", were played in tribute to the closed church and reminded many of Masses once held inside.
Hymns gave way to prayer as the faithful started the Angelus at six in the evening, followed by the Glorious Mysteries of the 54-Day Miraculous Rosary Novena, the Fatima Prayer, Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Prayer to Mary Queen of Peace. After the evening prayer service, parishioners placed white and yellow roses in vases on the steps in devotion.
The music resumed with plenty of time for fellowship and refreshments - wine, cheese, fruit and cake - on the street. There was even an impromptu phone call and "Happy Birthday" sing-a-along to Father Bartholomew Daly, the former pastor, who recently celebrated a milestone birthday.
Regina Scudellari , whose great-grandfather Innocenzo Scudellari was one of the first trustees and benefactors of the Church of Our Lady of Peace, brought her gifts as a hospital art educator to decorate the church and connect with her heritage.
“Today was a beautiful reunion with those who are passionate about faith and our lovely landmark home,” she explained. “God is at work here.”