On cathedral anniversary, archbishop asks faithful to be ‘edifices of faith and witness’

| March 29, 2015 | 0 Comments
Archbishop John Nienstedt prays a blessing over the palms at the start of the Palm Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul March 29. Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

Archbishop John Nienstedt prays a blessing over the palms at the start of the Palm Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul March 29. Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

The Cathedral of St. Paul commemorated the 100th anniversary of its first Mass March 29 at a 10 a.m. Palm Sunday liturgy celebrated by Archbishop John Nienstedt.

In his homily, Archbishop Nienstedt pointed to Archbishop John Ireland’s two-fold mission for the cathedral: service to God and service to souls. He reflected on why the legendary archbishop would have chosen Palm Sunday to invite the faithful into the monumental building for the first time.

“My guess would be that as this Sunday issues in the holiest week of the liturgical year, [Archbishop Ireland] was of a mind that this edifice, reflecting the faith of countless faithful in the then young archdiocese, would symbolize the beginning to a period of history in which growth in holiness would increase the souls of the faithful in proportion to the years in which the cathedral served as its mother-church,” he said. “His eyes that day were set on a future that he would never see, but we who would can only marvel and rejoice.”

Altar servers hold candles and a processional cross decorated with a palm as they wait for the Palm Sunday Mass processional at the Cathedral of St. Paul March 29. Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

Altar servers hold candles and a processional cross decorated with a palm as they wait for the Palm Sunday Mass processional at the Cathedral of St. Paul March 29. Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

Archbishop Nienstedt exhorted the faithful to “fervently pray that our eyes may be opened to the movements of grace in our won lives, lives which like this cathedral are meant to be edifices of faith and witness. Like Peter and Paul who sit enthroned upon the facade of this great edifice overlooking the skyline below, may we be moved this week to become that which we are — a people of communion and a people of mission.”

The cathedral’s first Mass was held Palm Sunday 1915, which that year was March 28. Archbishop Ireland, who served first as bishop and then archbishop of St. Paul from 1884 until his death in 1918, commissioned the French-born architect Emmanuel L. Masqueray to design the Cathedral of St. Paul and its co-cathedral, the Basilica of St. Mary. The cathedral’s cornerstone was laid in 1907.

Read more about the history of the Cathedral of St. Paul and its centennial celebration.

Tags: , ,

Category: Cathedral Centennial, Featured