Best Neighborhood Shrine (2008)

Shrine of Saint Philomena Catholic Church

On any given Sunday, this tiny Little Havana church — a shrine to the patron saint of faith and purity— fills with worshippers clad in suits or mantles and gloves while clutching their Bibles and rosaries. They enter the modest building down steps that oddly descend under sidewalk level. Inside, a sonorous Father Rueda delivers mass at 8 and 11 a.m. every Sunday. After service, many parishioners mingle in the parking lot in scenes reminiscent of an Elmer Gantry revival. A billboard on the shrine's front lawn urges help for pregnant teens.


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