Sacred Heart Cathedral (Raleigh, North Carolina)

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Sacred Heart Cathedral
Sacred Heart Cathedral - Raleigh.JPG
Sacred Heart Cathedral, Raleigh
Sacred Heart Cathedral (Raleigh, North Carolina) is located in North Carolina
Sacred Heart Cathedral (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Location in North Carolina
35°46′51″N 78°38′31″W / 35.78083°N 78.64194°W / 35.78083; -78.64194Coordinates: 35°46′51″N 78°38′31″W / 35.78083°N 78.64194°W / 35.78083; -78.64194

200 Hillsborough Street Raleigh,

North Carolina North Carolina
Country  United States
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Founded 1879
Dedicated October 1924
Style Neo-Gothic
Groundbreaking 1922
Completed 1924
Materials Stone
Diocese Diocese of Raleigh
Bishop(s) sede vacante

Rev. Justin Kerber, C.P.

Part of Capitol Area Historic District (#78001978[1])
Added to NRHP April 15, 1978

Sacred Heart Cathedral, sometimes referred to as Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh.[2] As of 6 December 2016 the bishop's cathedra in the cathedral is vacant after Michael Francis Burbidge was transferred to the Diocese of Arlington.[3] When the current building was completed in 1924 as a parish church, North Carolina was the only state in the United States of America without its own Catholic diocese. Sacred Heart Cathedral is the smallest Roman Catholic cathedral in the continental United States. The cathedral is located in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina on Hillsborough Street.[4][5] In 1978 it was included as a contributing property in the Capitol Area Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[6] The Cathedral also hosts the Cathedral School, formally called the Sacred Heart Cathedral School, a Catholic elementary and middle school.


Sacred Heart Cathedral serves as the Mother Church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh and the throne of the current bishop of Raleigh. The cathedral is named after the Sacred Heart of Jesus and has a statue of Jesus Christ above its entrance. Due to the church size, eleven masses are necessary per weekend to accommodate all attendees.[7]

Papal honors[edit]

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge presided at Solemn Vespers held on Sunday, January 11, 2009, to celebrate the bestowal of Papal Honors by Pope Benedict XVI on Sacred Heart Cathedral's the Reverend Monsignor David D. Brockman and Kathleen Walsh. The appointments were announced in November 2008, with Monsignor Brockman being elevated to the title of Prelate of Honor and Miss Walsh, director of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Raleigh, receiving the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice.

Golden Jubilee[edit]

Monsignor Thomas P. Hadden celebrated his fiftieth anniversary of priesthood with a Jubilee Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Saturday, December 20, 2008. Monsignor Hadden was ordained in Rome in 1958 as a priest of the Diocese of Raleigh upon his graduation from the North American College in Rome. Thirty priests concelebrated the liturgy in the presence of Michael F. Burbidge with Monsignor Gerald L. Lewis as homilist.[4]

New cathedral[edit]

In 2011, Bishop Burbidge announced construction of a new cathedral to replace the existing Sacred Heart Cathedral which cannot accommodate the growing parish and diocese. Fund-raising began in September of that year for the new facility, located on 39 acres where the diocese offices and Cardinal Gibbons High School were located. Groundbreaking for the new Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral took place January 3, 2015, on a $41 million building which will hold 2,000 people and is expected to open in 2017.[7] The cathedral is designed by O'Brien and Keane of Arlington, Virginia in the Romanesque Revival style. It will have a cruciform floor plan with a dome over the crossing and will contain 42 stained glass windows and Stations of the Cross from closed churches in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The Beyer Studio of Philadelphia will restore the windows before they are installed.[8]


Statue of Our Lady of North Carolina at the front of the school.

Cathedral School, formally Sacred Heart Cathedral School, a Roman Catholic Pre-K through eighth grade cathedral school, is hosted at Sacred Heart Cathedral. The school was established in 1909 and educates young Catholics and prepares them for High School. Cathedral School feeds into Cardinal Gibbons High School. Cardinal Gibbons High School had originally been at Sacred Heart Cathedral and was called Sacred Heart High School and then Cathedral Latin High School.[9] In 2007, Cathedral School received a National Blue Ribbon of Excellence Award.[10] The Cathedral School will move to the new cathedral site when complete.[7]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Sacred Heart Cathedral". Diocese of Raleigh. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  3. ^ "Bishops and Dioceses". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Retrieved 2017-01-05. 
  4. ^ a b "Sacred Heart Cathedral". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Sacred Heart Cathedral". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Capitol Area Historic District" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2016-09-25. 
  7. ^ a b c Quillin, Martha (3 January 2015). "Raleigh diocese breaks ground on new cathedral". The News & Observer. Raleigh. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  8. ^ "New Cathedral Design – Inspired by You". Diocese of Raleigh. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  9. ^ [1] Archived July 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "Cathedral School". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 

External links[edit]