Many Minnesota natives will remember learning about the French fur traders and settlers who came to the Saint Paul area in the 1800s. Some might recall learning that it was fur traders who helped build the original log chapel in Saint Paul in 1841. But perhaps few know that the city of Saint Paul was actually named after the chapel of Saint Paul, which officially changed it from the original name of the settlement, Pig’s Eye.
The Cathedral has a long history with the people of Saint Paul, including some families who are still involved in the community today. One of the families instrumental in making sure the city was not forever known as Pig’s Eye is the Labine family. Joseph Labissoniere and his son Isaac helped build the original 18-by-25-foot chapel. Joseph was a French fur trader who took on the role of superintendent for the chapel, where Father Lucien Galtier celebrated the first mass on All Saints Day in 1841; it became a cathedral in 1851 after a visit by Bishop Mathias Loras.
Galtier avidly promoted the name Saint Paul to go with the nearby community of Saint Peter. The Pig’s Eye settlement had originally been named after Pierre “Pig’s Eye” Parrant who owned a tavern on the settlement and had an injured eye that looked pig-like. Luckily, the name Saint Paul stuck.
Mark Labine, who lives in Arden Hills, says he heard some stories from his own grandfather about Joseph Labissoniere, Labine’s great-great-great-great grandfather, which sparked a passion for finding out more about his family history and the Cathedral. “A lot of these traders came to Fort Snelling, and a community grew there because there was military protection. We have a fairly good idea of what the first chapel looked like, but there is still some mystery behind it,” says Labine, who is the president of the French-American Heritage Foundation and is writing a book about the history of the chapel.
On November 1, the Cathedral will hold a special service at 5:15 p.m. with Archbishop Bernard Hebda to commemorate the church’s 175th anniversary. A reception featuring a multimedia presentation of photos and artifacts from the cathedral will follow the mass.
Full Article on Saint Paul Magazine
In 1841 as Father Lucien Galtier’s pioneer parishioners installed a 3-foot cross on the roof of the new log chapel they named “St. Paul,” the young French priest also planted a seed of faith, which during the next 175 years would grow into the largest of plants: the parish of the Cathedral of St. Paul.
The chapel, located on the Mississippi river bluff in what is now downtown St. Paul, fostered the Catholic faith and also served as a catalyst for the capital city of the same name to develop around it. The story of the faithful who populated the new chapel, diocese and city of St. Paul inspires present-day Catholics and residents of the city, which narrowly escaped being named Pig’s Eye.
“It was the beginning of the city of St. Paul,” said Mark Labine, president of the Arden Hills-based French-American Heritage Foundation of Minnesota and author of, “In the beginning, there was a Chapel.” “The city grew up around the chapel. …They built this little log chapel, and it became a cathedral and a school and a hospital, and the name of the city and the name of the capital of Minnesota.”
Full Story about the Cathedral History
Things have gotten a bit dim in and around the century-old Cathedral of St. Paul these days. A fundraising effort by the Cathedral Heritage Foundation (CHF) aims to change that.
Shedding new light on the historic and much-visited church on St. Paul’s highest point is the goal of the foundation’s sixth annual Cathedral Festival of Lights fundraiser Sept. 23.
Money raised will go to switch over all of the cathedral’s lighting to LED lights to improve illumination and conserve energy. The first phase of the project’s three phases will focus on brightening the 1.5-acre interior, which includes many dimly lit side chapels and dozens of burned out ceiling and cornice lights. Approximately 800 LED lights are needed to upgrade and replace the existing interior lighting, officials said.
“With grant funding from the CHF, we were able to get started on this process over the winter, and already the energy savings have been substantial and far outweigh the investment in LED lights,” said the Rev. John Ubel, rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul. “Plus, the new LED lights have a ‘life span’ measured in years. Once the transition has been completed, this could save us as much as 20 hours in maintenance per month and reduce our energy bills by 30 percent or more.”
Full Article on Star Tribune
A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved July 14 the sale of two Cathedral Hill properties from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to the Cathedral Heritage Foundation and a subsidiary, 244 Dayton LLC, for $900,000.
The archdiocese announced in June its plans to sell to the foundation 244 Dayton Ave., home to the archdiocese’s Office of Communications and Office of Evangelization and Catechesis, and a vacant lot at 250 Dayton Ave.
“We appreciate the court’s favorable ruling on this transaction and we are looking forward to closing on the purchase on schedule,” the Cathedral Heritage Foundation said in a July 15 statement.
Full Article on The Catholic Spirit
“Voices of Light” is a stunning evening of music and film, merging Carl Dreyer’s legendary 1928 silent film masterpiece “The Passion of Joan of Arc,” widely considered to be one of the greatest films ever made, with the live performance of a moving and powerful orchestral/choral score by award-winning American composer Richard Einhorn. Join conductor Matthew Mehaffey and the Oratorio Society of Minnesota for the Twin Cities premiere.
Voices of Light is a stunning evening of music and film, merging Carl Dreyer’s legendary 1928 silent film masterpiece “The Passion of Joan of Arc,” widely considered to b e one of the greatest films ever made, with the live performance of a moving and powerful orchestral/choral score by award – winning American composer Richard Einhorn.
As skaters from around the country and the world compete at the annual Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championships Feb. 26-27 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, spectators can send a text to help pay for the Cathedral’s east rose window.
Cathedral staff are hoping that visitors to the event will make contributions via text message to pay for the restoration of the window, which will cost approximately $100,000. The goal for the weekend is to raise $10,000. The 26-foot window currently is in fragile condition, with pieces of stained glass close to falling out.
Red Bull Crashed Ice has agreed to help this effort by broadcasting live a Cathedral-Red Bull Crashed Ice graphic over all the jumbotron screens throughout the event — both Friday and Saturday nights. And the lights will be dimmed the first time the graphic flashes up on screen both nights.
Crashed Ice must be a great marketing event for Red Bull. Why else would the energy-drink company also known for its amped-up athletic events be staging the event this weekend in St. Paul for the fifth year?
But the spectacle of athletes hurling themselves down a 360-meter ice-covered ramp starting on the steps of the Cathedral of St. Paul is also a good opportunity for the church, although the church calls it evangelizing, not marketing.
The doors of the Cathedral are open during the extreme sports event that is expected to draw as many as 100,000 spectators. Anyone is welcome to come in to warm up and take a look at the historic 100-year old building.
Members of the Cathedral Young Adults organization likely will be waiting inside offering to give a tour or handing out postcards featuring an image of the Cathedral and the Crashed Ice track and a quote by Archbishop John Ireland: “There should be no one who, entering the Cathedral, is not able to say — it is mine.”
On the back side of the postcard, Mass and confession times are listed.
“This Cathedral was built for all,” said Father John Ubel, the Cathedral rector. “I think it’s important that we reach out to the larger community.”
According to the Cathedral, hundreds come inside each year during Crashed Ice. The church welcomes everyone, regardless of their faith tradition.
Full Article on Twin Cities Pioneer Press
In honor of the Second Annual Cathedral Festival of Lights, the East Rose Window will be lit over the front doors of the Cathedral of St. Paul from dusk until 10 p.m. on Sept. 28.
The public is encouraged to stop by and view the window, said Carolyn Will, spokesperson for the Cathedral.
Last year’s inaugural “Festival of Lights” event raised funds for the interior lighting in addition to other restoration projects.
This year’s “fund-a-need” will focus on adding the pontifical trumpet stop to the Great Cathedral Organs currently undergoing a much-needed restoration, Will said.
Original story from thecatholicspirit.com