St. James Cathedral (Orlando, Florida)

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St. James Cathedral
St. James Cathedral (Orlando, Florida) is located in Florida
St. James Cathedral (Orlando, Florida)
28°32′42.53″N 81°22′43″W / 28.5451472°N 81.37861°W / 28.5451472; -81.37861
Location 215 N. Orange Ave.
Orlando, Florida
Country United States
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Founded 1885
Style Romanesque Revival
Completed January 20, 1952
Length 181 feet (55 m)
Width 88 feet (27 m)
Height 83 feet (25 m)[1]
Diocese Diocese of Orlando
Bishop(s) Most Rev. John Noonan
Rector Rev. John McCormick

St. James Cathedral is a church located at 215 North Orange Avenue in the central business district of Orlando, Florida and functions as the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orlando. Its current rector is Fr. John McCormick. The bishop is John Noonan. The parish operates St. James Cathedral School on nearby Robinson Street which offers classes from pre-school through eighth grade.

St. James parish traces its roots to May 20, 1881 when Bishop John Moore of the Diocese of St. Augustine, which then covered the entire state of Florida, purchased land to establish the first Catholic church in the area. The first permanent pastor, Father Felix P. Swembergh arrived in 1885 to organize the congregation from the area's residents. Between 1880 and 1885, the population of Orlando increased from 200 to over 4,000 people.

St. James Cathedral School

The cornerstone for the sanctuary was laid January 23, 1887 and it was completed in June 1891. The wooden structure measured 40 ft (12 m) by 70 ft (21 m) and accommodated 240 worshippers. The entry was capped by a belltower 45 ft (14 m) tall. This served the parish until the current structure was completed January 20, 1952.[2] When the Diocese of Orlando was split from the Diocese of St. Augustine on June 18, 1968, St. James was selected as the cathedral.[3]

The cathedral underwent the most recent of several renovations beginning in May 2009.[4] Work included restoration of stonework on the facade that was covered during a 1970 renovation, interior decoration,[5] lighting and installation of windows to comply with current hurricane-codes. A marble altar, tabernacle throne and baptismal font were created in Carrara, Italy to complement new pews.[6] The cathedral organ, Wicks Organ Company Opus 6028, was restored and enlarged by Wickes along with a smaller organ in the cathedral chapel.[7][8]

The diocese spent $10 million upgrading the cathedral in 2010. The upgraded building contained a new stained glass window commemorating the contribution of Bishop Thomas Wenski to building improvements.[9]


  1. ^ "St. James Catholic Cathedral - Orlando, FL". Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  2. ^ "History of St. James Cathedral". St. James Cathedral. Retrieved 2011-12-09. 
  3. ^ "History-Overview". Diocese of Orlando. Retrieved 2011-12-09. 
  4. ^ Jeff Kunerth (15 November 2010). "St. James Cathedral dedication on Saturday". Orlando Sentinel ( Retrieved 2011-12-09. 
  5. ^ Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda (11 October 2010). "Pictures: Return of St. James Cathedral pipe organ". Orlando Sentinel ( Retrieved 2011-12-09. 
  6. ^ Eloísa Ruano González (20 November 2010). "Dedication Mass unveils renovated St. James Cathedral". Orlando Sentinel ( Retrieved 2011-12-09. 
  7. ^ "St. James Cathedral in Orlando, FL signs with Wicks". Wicks Organ Company. Retrieved 2011-12-09. 
  8. ^ Jeff Kunerth (12 October 2010). "Pipe organs arrive as last big piece in restoration of St. James Catholic Cathedral in Orlando". Orlando Sentinel ( Retrieved 2011-12-09. 
  9. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°32′43″N 81°22′43″W / 28.545148°N 81.37861°W / 28.545148; -81.37861 (St. James Cathedral, Orlando)