Bishop Michael O. Jackels has officially announced that Wednesday, Jan. 30, will be the completion date of the renovation of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception campus. A special Mass to mark the reopening of the Cathedral campus and the dedication of the new altar will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2. “Unfortunately, even with increased seating in the renovated cathedral, there is limited space for this event,” he said Monday in a videotaped message. However, pastors from every parish in the diocese have been asked to extend invitations to four members of their parish. The Mass will also be streamed live on the diocesan website and several opportunities for the faithful of the diocese to visit the campus are planned. Anyone who made a financial gift to the TOGETHER Vision will receive an invitation to one of three events scheduled in late February. Pilgrimages to the cathedral are also scheduled on March 16, April 6, and May 11.
“On each of those events, I will be happy to welcome parishioners to our Mother Church, the cathedral, to celebrate Holy Mass with them, and to provide for tours of the renovated cathedral campus,” he said. Bishop Jackels said an instructional booklet to help those visiting the cathedral to understand the significance of the art and of the liturgical furnishings in the cathedral is being prepared. The booklet will be available for the Feb. 2 Mass, for the pilgrimages, and for other parish or private visits to the cathedral. He added that a special rosary was commissioned in honor of the cathedral’s centennial. The rosary’s crucifix and the Marian medallion are replicas of the new sculptures in the cathedral, and on the back of the Marian medallion is the image of our Cathedral, with the dates 1912-2012, marking the 100th anniversary of the dedication. “We are making these extra efforts – like the livestream video of the Feb. 2 Mass – because the TOGETHER Vision in general and the cathedral campus project in particular have been a diocesan effort,” Bishop Jackels said. “We are this church; this church is us. This can certainly be said on account of the many people who contributed time, talent, and treasure to make our cathedral and the other buildings on the campus more accessible and beautiful. There is something of each of us in this church, thank you very much.“ The faithful of the diocese have sacrificed, he said, because they understand that the cathedral is a symbol of our unity as a diocesan Church family. “This is so because all Catholics in the diocese ideally gather here for Holy Mass on Sunday with the bishop. But, as that is not practical, parish churches are established,” he said. “And so we say that these churches are, figuratively speaking, born from the cathedral. This is why we call the cathedral the mother church of the diocese; it unites us together as a diocesan church family.” Bishop Jackels thanked everyone who worked on the committees preparing for the cathedral campus renovation, as well as the architects and the contractors. “They all did a beautiful job, in a timely manner, and within budget,” he said. “Special thanks are owed to all the people in the diocese who took interest in, offered prayers for, and made sacrificial financial gifts in support of the TOGETHER Vision. Without them the architects and contractors would have had nothing to do.“ Bishop Jackels closed by saying he hopes the renovation will “be a reflection of who we are and what we do: followers of Jesus who worship God at Holy Mass and who carry on the mission of Christ, teaching the full Gospel of Jesus to others and serving to benefit our neighbor!”
Want a cathedral centennial rosary? The specially-designed cathedral centennial rosary is now available for $10. They can be ordered in person at the Chancery at 424 N. Broadway in Wichita, or on-line at the diocesan website CatholicDioceseOfWichita.org. The rosaries will also be available for purchase at the Feb. 2 Mass, the donor events, and the pilgrimages.