Sunday, May 3, 2015

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary -Two Millennia of Tradition in Minnesota

Magnificent cathedrals are not only confined to Europe or the great cities of Latin America. North Americans can find similar architectural treasures just around the corner, possibly places of worship they attend weekly or pass by without a deeper appreciation of the landmark's beauty. Lovingly crafted, places of peace and contemplation open to all comers, they share 2000 years of tradition with the more venerable churches of the old world. Such a place is the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary in Duluth, Minnesota.

From its magnificent seat atop the hills overlooking western Lake Superior, the gleaming Italianate-style Roman Catholic cathedral was completed in 1957, and its ministers shepherd the Diocese of Duluth. 

Here is a brief photographic tour; my images can't do the church interior justice.

Corinthian columns of marble surround the semi-circular apse and the altar.
 Looking right upon entering the narthex you will see the baptismal font.

Detail of the ceiling in the narthex.
A stair in the narthex leads to an organ and the choir loft above the back of the nave (the main body of the church).

A series of etched glass windows above the nave honor Mary, Queen of the Rosary, patron Saint of the cathedral. Celebrated on October 7th, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary commemorates the  the decisive defensive victory of the Holy League over the invading Ottoman fleet at the naval Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

And on the floor level of the nave below are twelve stained glass windows, one for each Apostle.

Details common to all Catholic churches -- the pews, the lectern, the fourteen Stations of the Cross -- reflect fine craftsmanship of the diverse population of northeastern Minnesota.

It's only been 58 years, but how many thousands of people have sat in and knelt at these pews?

Detail of the altar.
Christmas decoration with the traditional crèche.

There are many aspects of Marian devotion throughout the cathedral and various dedications to other saints of the Catholic church, but ultimately the focus of adoration is Christ,

The cathedral sits above and across from the affiliated Holy Rosary school (a renovated convent) for grades K-8, which itself overlooks vast Lake Superior. It's an edifice near as grand as Hogwarts, with an unrivaled view.

What everyday treasures should people see in your neighborhood?