Archive for June, 2012

When I travel to St. Paul, MN, I always enjoy looking for these wonderful buildings. I am always amazed at how they have stood the winds of time, and are still like viewing art. Hope you enjoy what I see.

Cathedral of St. Paul, MN

The building: The present building, the fourth, dates from 1905 and is the work of the French architect Emmanuel Louis Masqueray, chief  designer of the 1904 World’s Fair in St Louis. The cathedral is a beautiful  example of classical Renaissance French architecture and is lovingly described  in great detail on their website. There is no hyperbole in saying this  building is BIG – it must surely be one of the largest cathedrals in North America. Depending on the seating arrangement, it can hold between 3000-4000 worshipers. Even with modern day electric lighting, the interior is dim. With gas lighting, masses under the old Latin rite must have presented an almost medieval aura – and a visually stunning, sensory experience.  Added to the church in 1987 were five large bronze bells cast in France, replacing the original single bell which, according to a former rector,  was “not loud enough to scare a pigeon.” The church: In 1840 a missionary priest, Father Lucien Galtier, was sent to minister to the rough-and-tumble French Canadians living in a settlement known as Pig’s Eye, in a place called Minnesota – not yet one of the United States. Father Galtier built a wooden chapel with unshaven sides and a bark-covered roof in an area thick with trees and  bramble. He placed the community and the chapel under the patronage of St Paul as patron saint of gentiles, praying that the residents would come to call the place St Paul instead of Pig’s Eye – which they  did! The settlement quickly outgrew its humble chapel, and a larger one was built just three years later. In 1851 the Diocese of St Paul was formed by Pope Piux IX and the new chapel – already bulging at the seams with its ever-expanding congregation – suddenly became a cathedral.  On May 11, 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state to be admitted into the United States, and mass was celebrated at a new stone cathedral a month later. But St Paul continued to prosper and grow, and by the turn of the century what had now become the Archdiocese of St Paul once again needed a new, more spacious cathedral building – a need fulfilled at last with the consecration of the present building in 1958 at a five-hour ceremony! Today, the cathedral serves a multi-ethnic community though I could find no mention in the bulletin of special masses for non-English communicants. Based on the activities listed in the bulletin, this seems primarily to be an adult worshiping community. The cathedral sponsors a variety of ministries all enumerated in detail on their website.

The following picture is of the dome inside the Cathedral.

St. Paul Cathedral Dome

Church of the Assumption

St. Paul Luthern

St. Paul Church

Cathedral of St. Paul – Post Card for my Lady


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