Cathedral Centennial: 1915-2015

Cathedral Centennial 2015: Report

     The Centennial Planning Committee met for the first time in March, 2014. From the beginning it focused on the Cathedral’s social mission: “. . . to educate in faith, minister to those in need, extend hospitality to all and contribute to the spiritual and cultural life of the city.” From this mission emerged lectures, exhibits, programs, concerts and the Works of Mercy Program.

     The Centennial opened with Mass on January 25, the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, the patronal feast of the Cathedral. The anniversary of the first Mass in the Cathedral was celebrated on Palm Sunday, March 28/29; the 100th anniversary of the Dedication was celebrated on April 11/12.  The Committee planned, developed and promoted all events of the Centennial year: a Centennial pilgrimage to Rome, lectures, exhibits, concerts—and receptions for events and gatherings. The volunteer Centennial Planning Committee included: Lois Berens, Mary Connelly, Barbara Dries, Kevin Duchschere, Ramona Pekarek, Celeste Raspanti, Shantel Schallenkamp, Carl Simmons, Barbara Sommer, Larry Sommer and Father John Ubel. Parishioner Michelle Marzitelli, directed the Centennial logo contest.  Jessica Radecki submitted the winning design—the now familiar logo seen on everything from the banners on the façade to napkins used at Centennial receptions. Weekly Centennial Notes promoted Centennial events, reporting and citing, for the record, Committee members who directed the events and parishioners who helped carry these events to successful conclusions.

     Parish clergy, staff and parishioners were essential to the success of the Centennial: they helped hang exhibits, researched and wrote exhibit labels, set up Hayden Hall for lectures and receptions, delivered materials and messages, supported the Works of Mercy program, and performed hundreds of small services, without which the larger celebration would not have been possible. Carolyn Will provided extraordinary presence in the local media and press, and Dee Geiser of Geiser Designs created the stunning visual statement of the of the Centennial for Cathedral banners, programs and invitations.

     The Centennial remains in the Centennial/2015 Calendar, the Centennial cookbook and Centennial notecards. The Timeline of Cathedral History will become a permanent exhibit, but other exhibits, The History of the Cathedral in 25 Objects, and 100 Years of Marriage at the Cathedral—will remain—in memory. In January 2016 Centennial minutes, notes, programs, press notices, media citations and memorabilia will be placed in acid-free folders in the archives and labeled: Centennial/2015. That history will record in detail that the Centennial Planning Committee, with help and support from many—achieved most of its goals for the Centennial.

     We respectfully call upon Archbishop John Ireland to say the last word: "This is the history of the Cathedral of Saint Paul, the Mother Church of the Diocese, the common monument of the whole people to God, to Christ, to the Catholic faith.”  ACSP.