Day: September 14, 2017

At 100, St. Paul Cathedral is full of community

By admin in Events, Media on 09/14/2017

A century ago, the dreams of an archbishop and his generous flock were realized in the first mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul.

For Palm Sunday, the polished floors of the Cathedral of St. Paul shine in mirror-like brilliance, reflecting a blaze of multicolored light streaming through the massive stained-glass rose windows.

Voices rising from the choir loft are accompanied by the triumphant blast of pipe organs as 1,000 or more worshipers gather under the copper-clad dome to celebrate mass.

It’s here, high atop a hill overlooking downtown St. Paul, where Catholics have come for the past century to worship and wed and pay tribute to those who have passed on.

And it’s here, over the next year, where they will return again and again to celebrate the 100th anniversary of a spiritual shrine through concerts and food drives and even a softball tournament.

At the heart of all the hoopla and history, however, the cathedral stands as an active community of faith.

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The Cathedral of St. Paul – 100 years of inspiring awe

The Cathedral of St. Paul – 100 years of inspiring awe

By admin in Events, Media on 09/14/2017

The first homily at the first “Cathedral” of St. Paul — then, just a rustic chapel — was a stoic experience.

No heat, no water, in a 25-by-18-foot log cabin that could hold fewer than a hundred.

The first homily at the fourth cathedral — the “Cathedral on the Hill,” a more recognized landmark than the Capitol building across from it — was surprisingly stoic as well.

There were pews, and little else. A single, bare electric bulb hung from the Cathedral’s high dome. That first Mass — to be commemorated by Archbishop John Nienstedt in a centennial homily Sunday, and in events and exhibits throughout the year — was absent of any accoutrement.

And yet each of the five Masses scheduled that day — which some worried would be too barren, too spacious to be intimate with God — were standing-room only.

The speaker, 77-year-old Archbishop John Ireland — a former infantry regiment chaplain who had served in the Civil War — would die three years later.

He’d spent his final efforts finishing a project many decried as folly. Too expensive, too ambitious, too far away from Rome.

“Archbishop Ireland wanted people to know that Catholics had arrived in America. (With the construction of the Cathedral), he wanted people to see that ‘we are Catholics, but we are Americans.’ That there was no contradiction whatsoever between the two,” said the Rev. John Ubel, the Cathedral’s current rector.

Full Article on Twin Cities Pioneer Press

Five reasons to check out Red Bull Crashed Ice

By admin in Events, Media on 09/14/2017

Cass Gilbert, the nationally regarded architect known for the U.S. Supreme Court building and the Minnesota State Capitol, is reported to have remarked: “If the dome of the Cathedral of St. Paul and that of the new state capitol were part of a city in Europe, they would be world famous.”

The cathedral will get another shot at international fame Jan. 22-24, with the fourth annual Red Bull Crashed Ice season opener in St. Paul. As in years past, the ice cross downhill course is built to show off the Cathedral of St. Paul’s impressive facade.

Here are five reasons to go:

1.     The athletes will look like they’re launching out the cathedral’s rose window. In past years, the track design wound around the Cathedral of St. Paul, but this year designers decided to make this dramatic backdrop the central focus.

The track starts just below the cathedral’s East-facing rose window, designed in 1931 by Charles J. Connick, the world’s finest stained-glass craftsman at the time. The 26-foot-diameter window’s theme is the resurrection, inspired by John 1:4: “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.”

The window features a cross with the Lamb of God in its center, his banner signifying victory over death. In the cross’ arms are medallions of the 12 apostles; the four evangelists are depicted between its arms. Vines and branches weave throughout the entire window, recalling Jesus’s words in John 15:5: “I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

2.     It restores the cathedral’s history of daredevil antics. Most Minnesotans wouldn’t climb to the top of the cathedral’s exterior dome even if OSHA allowed it, but many of the workers who created the building did – for fun. Historic photos show workers installing its ball and lantern – its very top – and painting from scaffolding high in its interior dome. One particularly hair-raising image shows workmen taking turns balancing on the stone pinnacles that surround the building, apparently just for the thrill of it.

3.     If you get cold, the cathedral’s open. With highs of 36 degrees, the forecast for Jan. 23-24 is nicely above freezing, but still cold enough to warrant warming-up. The cathedral is opening its doors for the duration of the event, which culminates in the main event Jan. 24. (Practice runs and elimination rounds are scheduled Jan. 22-23.) In honor of the centennial anniversary of its first Mass, the cathedral is also hosting a photo exhibit, “A Timeline of Cathedral History.” The exhibit officially opens Jan. 25, but Crashed Ice attendees can get a preview.

If you’re looking for another kind of warmer, support the Cathedral Heritage Foundation and check out Frosty’s Bar from 5-10 p.m. Jan. 24 at the University Club, 420 Summit Ave. Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door which include a VIP ticket, bar snacks a drink and a shuttle to and from Crashed Ice.

4.     Support an inadvertent evangelization effort. Like the Basilica Block Party, which connects thousands of people with Minneapolis’ Basilica of St. Mary (the archdiocese’s co-cathedral) who may not usually go, Crashed Ice brings throngs of visitors to the cathedral’s grounds, and many inside. It seems like an appropriate circumstance for a church named for St. Paul, who was known to use the secular to teach the sacred. (Note the cathedral is also the National Shrine of the Apostle Paul.) It’s not a stretch to imagine the cathedral’s founder, Archbishop John Ireland, also loving the situation. “There should be no one who, entering the cathedral, is not able to say … ‘it is mine,’” he said.

5.     Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is a fan. Of the cathedral, at least; no word about Crashed Ice. As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he visited the church in 1984. Later he remarked, “I remember the Cathedral of St. Paul as the most beautiful cathedral in the U.S.” The world watching Crashed Ice – by technology or in person – might be inclined to agree.

Article by: , from The Catholic Spirit

Stephen Paulus’ final work to premiere at Cathedral of St. Paul

By admin in Events, Media on 09/14/2017

The world premiere and final work of Twin Cities composer Stephen Paulus titled “Cathedral Fanfare for Two Organs” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Cathedral of St. Paul.

The free concert is presented by the Cathedral Heritage Foundation as part of the Inaugural Year of Concerts series. Other works to be played at the concert include the national premiere of “Three solos” by Jean-Baptiste Robin, “Clair de lune” from “Suite Bergamasque” by Claude Debussy and “Asturias” by Isaac Albeniz.

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Crashed Ice World Championship 2014 at the Cathedral of Saint Paul

Crashed Ice World Championship 2014 at the Cathedral of Saint Paul

By admin in Events, Media on 09/14/2017


Maybe it was cabin fever that drove a record 120,000 spectators to the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship 2014 at the Cathedral of Saint Paul. Strollers pushed through massive amounts of snow, ladies terribly underdressed, guys jumping over and into snow banks, and plenty of hardy children. Everyone seemed to be having a great time. The Cathedral of Saint Paul was an exceptional host, opening up their doors to let in the huddled masses—for a temporary escape from the bitter wind.

Four athletes emerge from starting points that take in a breathtaking view of the St. Paul skyline and the top of the Cathedral of St. Paul. “Once you get out of the gate, you commit [to going down]. The athletes are not allowed to slow down. For the rookies, it was quite a big effort and we were lucky no one was injured. Only the best guys can manage the first jump,” said Caluori.


‘Crashed Ice’ Leads Many to National Shrine of the Apostle Paul

‘Crashed Ice’ Leads Many to National Shrine of the Apostle Paul

By admin in Events, Media on 09/14/2017

St Paul Cathedral | Minnesota

The annual event takes place literally on the steps of the St. Paul, Minn., cathedral, making it a perfect opportunity to evangelize and extend some Christian hospitality.

For the past three years, one of the largest cathedrals in the United States has served as the backdrop for one of the largest winter sporting events.

More than 300,000 have flocked to Cathedral Hill in St. Paul, Minn., during that span to watch the Red Bull Crashed Ice racers skate down a 1,400-foot track of ice with many twists and turns. This year’s addition took place on Saturday and aired nationally on Fox Sports 1, and the Cathedral of St. Paul, the National Shrine of the Apostle Paul, dominated the sky behind the track.

“Overall, I think it [is] very good exposure for the cathedral,” said Father John Ubel, the cathedral’s rector. “The cathedral [is] lit up beautifully with LED lighting.”

Full Story on National Catholic Register

Cathedral pulls out all the stops for pipe organs’ inaugural concert

By admin in Media on 09/14/2017

The Cathedral of St. Paul was filled to capacity with people standing in every available space for the inaugural concert of the Cathedral’s newly restored 1927 E.M. Skinner and 1963 Æolian-Skinner organs Oct. 24. Above, internationally acclaimed organist Olivier Latry of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris plays both historic pipe organs from the console that normally sits in the sanctuary behind the main altar. An identical console is located in the choir gallery. Both organs can be played from either console. Dianne Towalski/The Catholic Spirit

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The refurbished Cathedral of St. Paul pipe organs come to life

By admin in Media on 09/14/2017

St. Paul Cathedral | Organ Restoration

As you may have heard on MPR’s Morning Edition, there was a standing room only crowd inside the Cathedral of St. Paul Thursday night at the inaugural recital for the Cathedral’s two refurbished pipe organs.

Over the last three years, those organs were taken completely apart and cleaned, the leather windchests were replaced and more than 1,000 pipes were added. The Cathedral Heritage Foundation raised $3.4 million dollars to pay for the restoration.

Full Article on MPR

Cathedral’s restored organs are noteworthy

Cathedral’s restored organs are noteworthy

By admin in Media on 09/14/2017


Cathedral Organ Restoration St. Paul Cathedral

A concert tonight will mark completion of the three-year, $3.4 million restoration project.

The Cathedral of St. Paul, consistently rated among the Twin Cities’ most visited sites, finally has got the big voice to go along with its imposing, classic Beaux-Arts looks.

On Thursday, the cathedral will officially take the wraps off its two newly refurbished pipe organs in the sanctuary and choir loft, marking the end of a three-year restoration project that propels the St. Paul church into the first rank of organ venues in the country.

The $3.4 million project also helps complete the church’s original design by French architect Emmanuel Masqueray, whose plans to properly house the choir loft’s organ pipes went unfinished until now. The hand-carved gilded walnut casework for the pipes was designed by University of Notre Dame architect Duncan Stroik, based on Masqueray’s blueprints, and crafted by a California studio.

Fundraising for the project was recently concluded successfully by the Cathedral Heritage Foundation, which now will build an endowment to maintain the organs.

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