Bishop Brennan Will Celebrate a Solemn Mass on the Anniversary April 21 at 6 p.m.

The Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling will celebrate its 95th Anniversary of Dedication with Mass celebrated by Bishop Mark Brennan on Wednesday, April 21 at 6 p.m. Parishioners of the cathedral and faithful throughout the diocese are invited to attend. The anniversary of the dedication of a cathedral church is observed with the rank of a solemnity in the cathedral itself and of a feast in the other churches of the diocese. As the mother church of the diocese, the cathedral is a symbol of the unity of the local church and its dedication is therefore celebrated throughout the diocese. “Faith in the Mountains: A History of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston,” offers the following account of the cathedral’s history: St. James Parish in Wheeling was completed by 1823, and initial members of the parish were primarily Irish and German immigrants. A second church was built in 1849. When the Diocese of Wheeling was created in 1850, St. James became the cathedral parish. The name of the parish was officially changed to St. Joseph in 1872. St. Joseph Cathedral has been a center of Catholic life in Wheeling and the diocese from the time of its humble wood frame of 1823 to the majesty of the Romanesque carved stone of 1926. All city parishes and many in the Northern Panhandle (of West Virginia) were formed from the cathedral. When Archbishop John J. Swint (who served as bishop of the diocese from 1922 to 1962) announced his plans to build a new cathedral, he called upon the people of the diocese to build a cathedral that would be “symbolic of all the Catholic Church stands for” in West Virginia. Within one year, the old cathedral was raised and a temporary chapel was constructed for members of the cathedral parish to worship in until the new cathedral was completed. By the following spring, construction had begun and the cornerstone for the new cathedral was blessed on May 5, 1924. Pittsburgh architect Edward J. Weber was selected to design the new cathedral. Working closely with Archbishop Swint, a Lombard Romanesque style of architecture was chosen. The new cathedral, built entirely of Indiana lime stone, was completed within two years and consecrated on April 21, 1926. Join Bishop Brennan and the cathedral’s parishioners for the April 21 Mass in celebration of the diocese’s cathedral. To learn more about the Cathedral of St. Joseph, visit the parish’s website: saintjosephcathedralcom.