Cathedral of the Epiphany (Sioux City, Iowa)

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Cathedral of the Epiphany
42°30′3.28″N 96°24′25.13″W / 42.5009111°N 96.4069806°W / 42.5009111; -96.4069806
Location 1000 Douglas St.
Sioux City, Iowa
Country United States
Denomination Roman Catholic
Founded 1891
Dedication Epiphany
Status Cathedral
Style Gothic Revival
Completed 1904
Number of spires Two
Materials Brick
Diocese Sioux City
Bishop(s) Most Rev. R. Walker Nickless
Rector Rev. William J. Vit Jr.

The Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City, Iowa is the cathedral parish for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sioux City. The Cathedral is located at 1000 Douglas Street in Sioux City.


The Cathedral of the Epiphany had its beginnings as St. Mary's Church in 1891. Rev. Timothy Treacy was the parish's first pastor. The new parish was intended to serve the needs of a growing number of Catholics who lived in the central part of the city. Many of the parishioners were Irish and German immigrants. Building a new church had to be postponed, however, because of the economic depression that hit the United States in 1892.

For the next 10 years parishioners worshipped in the basement of the present church. When the Diocese of Sioux City was established in 1902, it was decided that St. Mary's Church would serve as the cathedral. Work to complete the upper church was begun at this time. Bishop Philip Garrigan, Sioux City's first bishop, sought permission from the Holy See to change the name of the parish.[1] The building was dedicated, without its signature spires, on September 8, 1904 as the Cathedral of the Epiphany.

The cathedrals stained glass windows are from the Mayer Company Studios in Munich, Germany.

The towers were completed in 1961 in a building project initiated by Bishop Joseph Mueller. This same project completely changed the interior of the cathedral. A new marble altar with a canopy replaced the old wooden altar.

The most recent renovation project was started in 1994. Work to both the exterior and interior were completed during this time. St. Thomas Church in Emmetsburg, Iowa was closed during the cathedral renovation process. The altars and Stations of the Cross from the church were donated to the cathedral. They are similar in style to those same items removed from the cathedral in the 1961 renovation.

Today the cathedral parish continues to foster diversity as Masses are offered in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Latin.[2]

Parochial School[edit]

In the 1940s, parishioners started talking about replacing their old school. The last graduation from Cathedral High School was held on June 1, 1949.[3] That fall Bishop Heelan Catholic High School opened and the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary continued to teach at Heelan.

By 1957 it became obvious that new school facilities were needed at both Epiphany and at Heelan. A fund drive was held and three lots were purchased on the corner of Tenth and Douglas Streets for $40,500.[3] The new grade school was built on the site and it opened in September 1959. The parish grade school closed when schools from Epiphany, St. Boniface and St. Joseph consolidated in 1987 to form Holy Family School.[4] The former school building, now called Epiphany Center, houses offices, parish center and religious education classrooms for the parish.[3]

Pipe organ[edit]

The Orgelbau Wech (2006) pipe organ is in a gallery-level case in the back of the cathedral. It features a traditional style console with a mechanical action console that is detached from the main case. It is equipped with two manuals, 3 divisions, 31 stops, 29 registers, 37 ranks.[5] The manual compass is 58 notes and the pedal compass is 30 notes. The organ has slider chests, balanced mechanical key action, and electric stop action. The drawknobs are arraigned in horizontal rows on terraced/stepped jambs. There are balanced swell shoes/pedals. The combination action is a computerized/digital system. Rounding out the features are a flat straight pedalboard, reversible full organ/tutti toe stud, combination action thumb pistons, combination action toe studs, coupler reversible thumb pistons, and coupler reversible toe studs


HAUPTWERK Manual 1, 58 notes

  • 16 Bourdon
  • 8 Principal
  • 8 Rohrflote
  • 8 Salicional
  • 8 Voce Humana
  • 4 Octave
  • 4 Spitzflote
  • 2-2/3 Quinte
  • 2 Superoctave
  • 2 Gemshorn
  • 1-3/5 Terz
  • IV Misture
  • 8 Trompete

OBERWERK Manual 2, 58 notes, expressive

  • 8 Principal
  • 8 Bourdon
  • 8 Gambe
  • 8 Voix Celeste
  • 4 Octave
  • 4 Flute
  • 2-2/3 Sesquialtera
  • 2 Superoctave
  • 1-1/3 Quinte
  • 1 Scharff
  • 16 Dulzian
  • 8 Oboe


  • 16 Subbass
  • 8 Principal
  • 8 Bourdon
  • 4 Octave
  • 16 Posaune
  • 8 Trompette


  • Tremulant
  • Zimbelstern
  • Vogelsong


  1. ^ "Cathedral of the Epiphany". Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
  2. ^ "Cathedral History". Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
  3. ^ a b c "Sioux City - Cathedral of the Epiphany". The Catholic Globe. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  4. ^ "Sioux City-St. Boniface". The Catholic Globe. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  5. ^ a b "Orgelbau Wech, 2006". OHS Pipe Organ Database. Retrieved 2013-08-19. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°30′03″N 96°24′25″W / 42.50091°N 96.406982°W / 42.50091; -96.406982 (Cathedral of the Epiphany, Sioux City)