Religion: Busiest Church

The most cosmopolitan and busiest Roman Catholic church in the U.S. is Manhattan's Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Unlike big, stylish St. Patrick Cathedral, St. Francis is small and sandwiched off among office buildings in a crowded section near Pennsylvania Station.

Most of the worshippers at St. Francis of Assisi are transients: out-of-towners, hotel guests, office workers, commuters and clients of St. Anthony, whose National Shrine is the lower church. Though the two churches hold only 1,355 at a time, it is a poor Sunday that 5,000 don't hear Mass there— there are 13 Masses every Sunday. Its staff of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!