Last-minute Christmas shopping in New York City is a famously grueling, elbows-out enterprise, a movable melee often involving the navigation of jam-packed shops and subways all over town.
But if you happen to be a Roman Catholic priest, deacon or nun looking to spruce up your house of worship for the holiday season, your task is much simpler: Just point your car to the South Shore of Staten Island, and a serene afternoon of one-stop shopping awaits you.
On the green grounds of Mount Loretto, formerly an orphanage, stands a 17,000-square-foot, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”-style storehouse stuffed to the rafters with artifacts salvaged by the Archdiocese of New York from scores of churches deconsecrated and sold since 2004. Known as the Patrimony Warehouse, the facility was established to preserve the sorts of relics that sometimes wound up in antiques shops, the homes of parishioners or the trash.
In addition to storing sacred items like altars and incense censers, which according to canon law are permitted to be only in places of worship, the warehouse is a repository of secular artifacts like stained-glass windows.
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