St. Mary's Cathedral (Calgary)
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|St. Mary's Cathedral|
|The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary|
St Mary's Cathedral Calgary
|Location||219 18th Avenue SW
|Founded||as sandstone church in 1889|
|Dedication||October 30, 1955|
|Consecrated||December 11, 1957|
|Diocese||Diocese of Calgary|
St. Mary’s began as a sandstone church in 1889, built near the Elbow River on land provided by the Canadian Pacific Railway. The area was called the Mission District, due to the settlement of Father Albert Lacombe in the area in 1884. The original Catholic mission was called Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix. The land was used to establish a French-speaking incorporated village called Rouleauville, which subsequently became overwhelmingly English and was annexed by Calgary in 1907 (making St. Mary's part of Calgary). The same land obtained by Lacombe was also used to build St. Mary's School nearby.
When Pope Pius X created the Diocese of Calgary November 30, 1912, St. Mary’s became the Cathedral as the seat of the Bishop.
Demolition of the sandstone cathedral began on July 21, 1955, and on October 30, 1955, the cornerstone for the Cathedral was laid. Construction completed in February 1957, and the Most Reverend Francis P. Carroll, Bishop of Calgary, consecrated the sanctuary December 11, 1957.
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- Architects: Maxwell Bates and Alfred Hodges
- Engineer: Jan Bobrowski and Partners
- Contractor: Bird Construction Company Ltd.
- Cost: C$1,000,000
The cathedral is built of brick with sandstone accents in a modern gothic style. The floor plan is a St. Anthony's Cross (T or Tau-shaped) rather than the usual Latin cross that forms most Western Christian churches.
The pulpit was designed by the architects and built from hand carved oak by the Globe Furniture Company of Waterloo, Ontario. The carvings depict the figures of Christ and the four major prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezechiel and Daniel.
A 16-foot (4.9 m) statue of the Virgin Mary with Child in stone, by the Calgary sculptor Luke Lindoe occupies a niche above the main entrance.
Senator Pat Burns donated four 750-pound (340 kg) bells in to the church in 1904 that were cast by the Paccard Foundry in Annecy, France. These bells are the only parts from the old building used in the construction of the new cathedral.
- Rouleauville at Glenbow Museum - Information on the history of the French-speaking village.
- Rouleauville at Alberta Heritage - Discusses Father Lacombe and the village.
- Calgary Public Library Cornerstones: St. Mary's Cathedral
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