Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Waterbury, Connecticut)

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Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
Nave of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Waterbury CT.jpg
Basic information

74 West Main Street

Waterbury, Connecticut
United States
Geographic coordinates 41°33′26″N 73°02′30″W / 41.5571°N 73.0417°W / 41.5571; -73.0417Coordinates: 41°33′26″N 73°02′30″W / 41.5571°N 73.0417°W / 41.5571; -73.0417
Affiliation Roman Catholic
Province Archdiocese of Hartford
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Minor Basilica
Leadership The Very Rev. John Bevins
Website Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
Architectural description
Architect(s) Maginnis & Walsh
Architectural type Renaissance Revival
Architectural style Italian Renaissance
General contractor Tracey Brothers Co.
Direction of façade South
Completed 1928
Construction cost US $1.25 million
Capacity 1500
Length 170 ft (52 m)
Width (nave) 80 ft (24 m)

The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is a Roman Catholic church located at 74 West Main Street in Waterbury, Connecticut.

The parish traces its roots to November 1, 1847 when a group of Catholics in the area, under the leadership of pastor Father Michael O’Neil, purchased a former Episcopal church and dedicated the parish to St. Peter. The group previously rented Washington Hall at West Main Street and Exchange Place.

On July 5, 1857, the parish laid the cornerstone for a new church to be dedicated to the newly promulgated dogma of the Immaculate Conception. After it opened, the old church became St. Mary’s school in 1863.[1]

Ground was broken for the current church in 1924 and it was dedicated May 20, 1928. [2] It was designed by the Boston firm of Maginnis & Walsh and cost US$1.25 million to construct. Its Italian Renaissance design is based on the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome[3]

On February 9, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI bestowed the title of Minor Basilica on the church.[4]

The parish is currently under the administration of the Missionaires of the Holy Apostles (MSA).


The Austin Organ Company, based in Hartford, Connecticut, constructed the pipe organ in the Basilica. It's four divisions are located behind decorative wood panels flanking the gallery. The instrument was built in 1928 and has received modifications over the years including a new console in 1970 and some restoration work by the Foley Baker Company in 1980. The organ is Austin Opus 1522 with 3 manuals and 27 ranks.[5] The parish has engaged the Austin Organ Service Company of Avon, Connecticut to complete a restoration of the instrument in 2013.


  1. ^ "Basilica of the Immaculate Conception". Archdiocese of Hartford. Retrieved November 22, 2010. 
  2. ^ Sister Mary Kathleen Ronan, RSM (June 3, 2008). "First Roman Catholic Basilica in State is Announced". The Catholic Transcript ( Retrieved November 22, 2010. 
  3. ^ Jack Sheedy (August 15, 2008). "New Minor Basilica graces Waterbury". The Catholic Transcript ( Retrieved November 22, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Basilica of the Immaculate Conception". Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. November 21, 2010. Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved November 22, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Organs in the Northeast". Austin Organs, Inc. Retrieved 2014-03-03.