- Sacred Heart Cathedral (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Sacred Heart Cathedral Basic information Location Raleigh, North Carolina, United States Affiliation Roman Catholic Church District Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh Status Active Leadership Bishop Michael F. Burbidge
Sacred Heart Cathedral, sometimes referred to as Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh. The current bishop seated at the cathedral is the Most Reverend Michael Francis Burbidge. North Carolina, until 1924, was the only state in the United States of America without its own Catholic diocese. As of today,[when?] Sacred Heart Cathedral is the smallest Roman Catholic cathedral in the continental United States. The cathedral is located in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina on Hillsborough Street. The Cathedral also hosts the Cathedral School, formally called the Sacred Heart Cathedral School, which is a Roman Catholic elementary and middle school.
Sacred Heart Cathedral serves as the Mother Church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh and the throne of the current bishop of Raleigh. The cathedral is named after the Sacred Heart of Jesus and has a statue of Jesus Christ above its entrance.
Roman Catholics have been present in the city of Raleigh since the 1820s, but, until 1839, only a visiting priest ministered to the city’s then tiny Roman Catholic congregation. Sometime before 1860, the congregation secured for their services a former Baptist church building on Capitol Square called John the Baptist Church.
As the Roman Catholic population of Raleigh grew after the Civil War, and the inadequate space and poor condition of the churchhouse soon became an issue. For a time in the 1870s, mass was celebrated in a meeting hall in the Briggs Hardware building on Fayetteville Street. Then, in 1879, Father James White purchased the former Brian Grimes homeplace (also known as the Pulaski Cowper mansion) on Hillsboro Street, and the parish of Sacred Heart Church was established. He expanded the mansion so that it could be better used as both churchhouse and rectory.
In 1899, Father Thomas Griffin was appointed pastor, a position he held for 31 years. A parochial school was established in 1909 and named the Cathedral School. The church campus was later expanded with the addition of a separate rectory and convent. The cornerstone of Sacred Heart Church was laid in 1922 and the neo-gothic stone building dedicated in October 1924.
North Carolina at that time was the only state in the United States of America without its own Roman Catholic diocese. The leadership of the faith within the state had for some time anticipated the creation of a separate diocese, and large churches had been erected in Asheville and in Wilmington in hopes of acquiring the status of cathedral. However, these cities were at opposite ends of the state and the Vatican decided that the cathedra of the bishop of the new diocese should be in a more central location, so Raleigh was chosen.
In December 1924, therefore, Sacred Heart Church became Sacred Heart Cathedral, the seat of the newly created Diocese of Raleigh, with the Most Reverend William Hafey of Baltimore as its first bishop. His ecclesiastical authority extended over the entire state of North Carolina with the exception of the eight counties under the spiritual leadership of the Belmont Abbey abbot. Bishop Eugene McGuiness of Philadelphia succeeded Bishop Hafey in 1937. He thought that the modestly appointed Sacred Heart should “look more like a cathedral”, so in 1939 the terazzo floors and the magnificent stained glass windows seen today were installed; later, he added marble altars and reredos.
The interior of Sacred Heart Cathedral has undergone several renovations over the years, but in 1998 a sensitive and artistic restoration took place. Further improvements made in the following ten years returned the cathedral interior very nearly to its 1939 appearance.
The cathedral itself seats only about 350 people at a time, but there are over 3,000 parishioners.
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Bishop Michael F. Burbidge presided at Solemn Vespers held on Sunday, January 11, 2009, to celebrate the bestowal of Papal Honors by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on Sacred Heart Cathedral's the Reverend Monsignor David D. Brockman and Miss Kathleen Walsh. The appointments were announced in November, with Monsignor Brockman being elevated to the title of Prelate of Honor and Miss Walsh, director of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Raleigh, receiving the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice. “We are so happy that our Holy Father and the Church have recognized what we know about Monsignor Brockman and Kathleen Walsh,” Bishop Burbidge said. “What lifts us up today is not their new titles or their medals, but rather the testimony of their lives, individuals faithful to their baptismal call and to the particular vocations the Lord has entrusted to them.” In remarks following the prayer service, Miss Walsh gratefully acknowledged the “abundant graces and gifts which have been given to me in my life.” She spoke of reaching out and reaching in and of advocating for justice. “This may sound as if it's about me,” she said, “but you know that is not true. It is about us, as we live together in Christ.” Monsignor Brockman noted the significance of the day, the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord, when Jesus entered into public ministry. He thanked Bishop Burbidge for his leadership in the Diocese and his guidance.
The Reverend Monsignor Thomas P. Hadden celebrated his fiftieth anniversary of priesthood with a Jubilee Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Saturday, December 20, 2008. Monsignor Hadden was ordained in Rome in 1958 as a priest of the Diocese of Raleigh upon his graduation from the North American College in Rome. Thirty priests concelebrated the liturgy in the presence of the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge. The Reverend Monsignor Gerald L. Lewis was the homilist.
- The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh
- The Very Reverend Daniel Oschwald, Rector
- The Very Reverend Salvatore Busichio, Vice Rector
- Monsignor Thomas P. Hadden, Rector Emeritus
- The Very Reverend Jonathan A. Woodhall, Vice Rector Emeritus
Cathedral School, formally Sacred Heart Cathedral School, a Roman Catholic Pre-K through eighth grade cathedral school, is hosted at Sacred Heart Cathedral. The school was established in 1909 and educates young Catholics and prepares them for High School. Cathedral School feeds into Cardinal Gibbons Catholic High School. Cardinal Gibbons Catholic High School had originally been at Sacred Heart Cathedral and was called Sacred Heart Cathedral Catholic High School. In 2007, Cathedral School received a National Blue Ribbon of Excellence Award.
- ^ http://www.dioceseofraleigh.org/home/index.aspx
- ^ http://www.sacredheartcathedral.org/index.htm
- ^ http://www.godowntownraleigh.com/go/sacred-heart-cathedral
- ^ http://goodnightraleigh.com/2009/03/raleighs-sacred-heart-cathedral-ecclesiastical-grandeur-in-a-small-package/
- ^ http://www.sacredheartcathedral.org/papal_honors.htm
- ^ http://www.sacredheartcathedral.org/hadden_golden.htm
- ^ http://www.cghsnc.net/Portals/0/About%20Us/CGHS%20History.pdf
- ^ http://www.cathedral-school.net
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