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The Cathedral of Saint Paul

Posted: August 05, 2016

On Saturday, I attended the wedding of my youngest brother at the Cathedral of Saint Paul. It is one of the grand architectural feats commissioned by Archbishop John Ireland. It was the tallest building in the city when it was built over 100 years ago. It overlooks the Capitol and downtown Saint Paul, located on elegant Summit Avenue. Built on a hill, it can be seen from miles away. It is a reminder that God is in our midst.

The Cathedral inspires by its sheer size and reflects a desire to give honor and glory to God. It stands as a witness to our Catholic faith. The sanctuary is magnificent with marble stretching across the altar, stairs, and entrances. Marble pillars stretch over 175 feet high to connect a ceiling filled with stunning artwork and stained glass windows. Rose windows, statues and chapels create a sacred space. Behind the altar there are individual Shrines to the Nations with Saints representing early immigrants to Minnesota, including our beloved Saint Patrick!

If you have never visited the Cathedral or if it has been many years, I encourage you to visit! It is one of the treasures of the Catholic Church. My brother’s wedding was a wonderful reason to return to the Cathedral. I grew up in Saint Paul and attended Mass there many times during my childhood. I remember that it always felt so big. This time it felt very different… It felt intimate. Witnessing my brother and his fiancé’s faith and joy was a gift. Their wedding reminded me of my wedding at the Basilica of St. Mary almost 27 years ago.

There is something powerful about a Catholic wedding. It connects us to God, and strengthens our desire to build a holy life together with our friends and family. The sacramental part of the wedding was deeply moving. The Pastor, Fr. John Ubel did a beautiful job reflecting on their lives.

Churches like The Cathedral celebrate our history, traditions and sacraments. St. Patrick’s Confirmation students received the Sacrament of Confirmation at the Cathedral this spring. This is a beautiful continuity of our Catholic faith which stretches across the centuries and blesses all of us.

—Maura