Brookln’s San Damiano Mission courts younger parishioners with live music & more
The two Franciscan friars, complete with floor-length robes, stood behind the bar outside the 100-year-old church taking cash and slinging cans of Coors and Lime-A-Ritas in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Drinks in hand, over 200 people, many wearing black chokers, macramé bikini tops and denim overall shorts, crowded into the pews on a recent Thursday night, the pop of beer cans punctuating their arrival. But they were not waiting for a sermon — they were waiting for Josiah Wise, who goes by the name serpentwithfeet, an R&B singer whose songs have heavy gospel overtones.
This was not a typical church meeting, but the San Damiano Mission is no longer a typical church. On the brink of closing the church, the Diocese of Brooklyn called in the friars, Nicholas Spano, a deacon, and the Rev. Raphael Zwolenkiewicz, who are reintroducing Catholicism to the neighborhood in unconventional ways. – [NY Times]
Catholic church San Damiano Mission on N. 15th and Nassau Ave (right by McCarren Park’s tennis courts) in Williamsburg, which used to be Holy Family Slovak Church, has gone in unconventional ways to increase it’s base, teaming with nearby The Lot Radio on shows like Serpentwithfeet which benefit the restoration of the church’s pipe organ. The next Lot Radio show at The Mission (as they refer to it for these night shows) happens Thursday, October 6 with franco-american duo Jean Miche (tickets).
A few more photos from the serpentwithfeet show, below.