Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Renovation of Winona's Cathedral

Looks pretty ugly to me.

They moved the sanctuary to accommodate for a "Gathering Space" and made the front door be the side door for people to use, since most enter from the parking lot. Not having seen it in person, I suppose I shouldn't judge - but from the pictures, the beige walls in the sanctuary look rather incongruous with the rest of the architecture. I wonder where the piano will go.

A spokesman for the Cathedral said that the use of fixed pews and chairs allow for multi-use purposes, such as civic events as well as diocesan gatherings:
"The Cathedral will have a new seating arrangement that will provide individual seating and will include attached kneelers. We will use a combination of pews and chairs to provide maximum flexibility in our seating. This will allow us to create a wide range of seating options for both parish and diocesan events. It will also provide possibilities for other cultural or civic events for the Winona community." - Cathedral FAQ sheet on the renovation.

The consecration takes place this afternoon:

"Sixty priests, 20 bishops (three of them archbishops), one cardinal (Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit) and more than 650 people will come together at 2 p.m. today to rededicate the renovated Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, the spiritual center of the Diocese of Winona." - Winona Daily News



  1. I'd be really interested to hear Sanctus Belle's, of Our Lady's Tears blog, opinion on this renovation or wreckovation. She lives in the Winona Diocese.

  2. Comments on another blog indicate the renovation is an improvement. I'm chastened! Apologies, obviously the photo doesn't do it justice. Although, I wonder why the crucifix wasn't suspended over the altar of sacrifice?

  3. Terry--found ya!

    Crucifix over altar--no, because of that huge window in the picture.

    The cathedral is actually pretty small, as cathedrals go. And this is a humble, rural diocese. "BIG stuff" doesn't fit here.

    I can't guarantee you'd like it..there are things I don't like... but I do think it is a significant improvement from what we used to (affectionately) call the Barn with bats and the Eucharist. (Yes, there really were bats. Maybe still are. St. Francis would be pleased, I guess.)

    So be nice. We can't all have the Basilica. :)

    I love that we have a relic of St. Irenaeus. I'm absolutely amazed, honestly!

  4. I will be nice - sorry to offend your sensibilties. I am amazed at the relics as well. It may interest you to know that I was once offered a commission to paint an icon of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the Cathedral, but I had to decline due to scheduling difficulties.

    All in all, I know it is not like the Twin Cities basilica and cathedral, and even if the renovation is different from the original architecture - or maybe it's not - nevertheless, and this goes for all churches - at least the Holy Sacrifice is offered there, the sacraments are celebrated, and the Blessed Sacrament is reserved with honor, respect and devotion. This is what is essential.

    God bless!

  5. Sorry, did I sound snippy? I just like my diocese and tend to stick up for it. And while the structure may still have problems (trust me, you have some points), this is SO much better than it was.

    That's a list of relics tho. Goodness me.

    You're right about what is necessary and what makes a Chruch a Church. I was at the ordination Mass last week, and at the end Bishop Harrington enthusiastically said (to laughter, 'cause he doesn't really talk this way) "Today, this Church *rocked*!" And it did, because there was so much joy in it. The renovation was nice but the celebration of the Eucharist and Ordination was outstanding.

  6. heavens no - you did not sound snippy at all - I feared I had in the post! Thanks for contributing to it! :)

  7. Terry: I did not know you were once commissioned to do an Icon at the Cathedral. You can't have too many scheduling conflicts now? Assuming your health is o.k... Call Fr. Johnson, or better yet, call Mary of Veritatis Splendor. She knows every priest in town!

  8. Thanks cathy - I actually have two comissions right now.

  9. I'm pleased to see a decent crucifix behind the altar, at all.
    Terry: Why don't you post some of your paintings? I'm sure we're all curious and you might get a few commossions.

  10. Well, I'm in the Diocese of Winona, but I have to admit I've never been to the Cathedral. Winona is quite a trek for me and I've never actually set foot in the town. From the picture alone I would not describe it as ugly. The stained glass looks good, the Crucifix is honorable BUT I can't see the Tabernacle and thats a big disappointment. I also see no High Altar for Tridentine Rite Mass (sigh)


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