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Smallest Cathedral in the USA

I had no idea that the smallest cathedral in the U.S. is right here in North Carolina until the place made the news last week, and I realized that I'd taken some photos of it a couple of years ago when I was in downtown Raleigh.

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The Sacred Heart Cathedral is a sweet little gothic church, built in 1922. North Carolina was the last state in the nation to get a Catholic diocese (in 1924) and that's when this church was declared a cathedral. From the article:

In the Roman Catholic world, a cathedral is the bishop's home church. It holds his throne and shepherd's staff. The word "cathedral" comes from the Latin for seat or chair. Cathedrals are typically the grandest of all the churches in the diocese.

The article explains that this cathedral only seats 320 worshippers and on Easter Sunday this year, there was an overflow crowd of several thousand people participating in Mass via closed circuit TV from a nearby hotel. Sounds like they do need a bigger place. I'd like to see the inside of this church with its ""floral-theme terazzo floor" and bright blue ceiling inlaid with 14-carat gold leaf stars.

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Comments (8)

sandrac:

How interesting, Annie. It sounds like it would be just beautiful inside! I'm glad to read, from the news story, that even if a new Cathedral is built, there are no plans to raze this one. It would be lovely for events like weddings and baptisms.

My sentiments exactly as Sandrac's...charming. I like the idea of a smaller cathedral!

Barb Cabot:

I bet it's a lovely jewel inside. Would be wonderful to attend a service there. The outside is charming.

Anne:

Is it open for visitors during weekdays? Most of the churches in Halifax are, at least during summer. Would love to see some pics of the interior! I really like your shots of the exterior.

Anne, I don't know if and when it's open but hope to get over there someday and find out. I'll take some pics of the interior if I can!

Annie, what a beautiful church! Hope you get to check it out - I would assume that it would be open most of the time. Here in DC the Catholic cathedral is open all day every day.

I personally believe that bigger is NOT better. I LOVE the smallest cathedral!

Antony:

I think if you research it, you will find that the smallest cathderal is found in the Diocese of Monterey, California.

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