Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Photos of the Cathedral of Saint Peter, in Belleville, Illinois

Here are photos of the Cathedral of Saint Peter, of the Diocese of Belleville, located about 15 miles southeast of downtown Saint Louis, Missouri, in Belleville, Illinois.

A view of the Cathedral from the north.

This is the largest Cathedral in Illinois.

A view of the Cathedral from the south. This end is newer, having been added in 1966.

Three doors leading into the south end of the Cathedral. It doesn't appear that these are in use.

The inscrption over the door reads MY SOUL MAGNIFIES THE LORD, which is usually translated now as "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord", the begining of the Magnificat canticle sung by Mary, pregnant with Jesus, when visiting her cousin Elizabeth. See Luke 1:46.

Unusual ornamentation. I'm not sure what these are.

The middle of three doors leading into the north end of the Cathedral. It depicts Saint Louis, King of France.

The cathedral is nicely landscaped, with many flowers. Near here is a rose garden dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi.

You are Peter and upon this Rock I will build my church.

Peter, of course, means rock.

1866 - Erected
1956 - Renovated

This church replaced a nearby wood frame building constructed in 1842.

This church originally had a brick exterior. In 1912, a fire destroyed everything except the brick walls; the interior was afterwards remodelled in the Gothic fashion.

In 1956, the "brick walls were faced with Winona splitface dolomite and trimmed with Indiana limestone" (according to a brochure prepared by Barbara D'Amore, dated March 1996).

The Cathedral sanctuary was also renovated in 1966 in the spirit of Vatican 2, and the south end was added, increasing the seating capacity to 1,270. I once did attend a Sunday evening Mass here, and the church was filled.

The nave. A wedding was about to be celebrated here, so I kept to the choir loft. Unfortunately, I was unable to visit the main floor of the church, nor see its side-chapels. I left just as the bride entered the narthex.

The interior is modeled after the Cathedral of Exeter, England, in the English Gothic style.

A view of the organ pipes and stained glass window in the choir loft.

A view of the vaulting of the nave.

I took this photo off to the side, because the organist was located in the center of the choir loft.

A view down a side-aisle. This was taken from the choir loft.

Gate to the crypt underneath the church.

Late Bishops of the diocese.

This diocese was erected in 1887, from territory taken from the Diocese of Alton (renamed in 1923 to the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois).

The Diocese of Quincy changed its name to the Diocese of Alton in 1857.

The Diocese of Quincy was erected in 1853 from territory taken from the Diocese of Chicago (now Archdiocese).

In 1843, this particular territory was given to the newly-erected Diocese of Chicago from the Diocese of Saint Louis (now Archdiocese).

In 1826, this part of the newly-erected Diocese of Saint Louis was taken from the Diocese of Louisiana and the Two Floridas, (now Archdiocese of New Orleans).

In 1793, the Diocese of Louisiana and the Two Floridas was erected from the territory taken from the Diocese of San Cristobal de la Habana, (now Archdiocese) in Havana, Cuba.

Previously, this area was part of the Diocese of Santiago de Cuba, (now Archdiocese) until the Diocese of San Cristobal de la Habana was erected in 1787.

The Diocese of Baracoa (All Cuba) was erected in 1518, and renamed the Diocese of Santiago de Cuba in 1522. It was a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Sevilla, (Seville, Spain).

America was discovered in 1492, with the Pope later recognizing this part of the world as belonging to Spain.

The Diocese of Sevilla may date to Apostolic times, and certainly was founded within the first century A.D. It was elevated to an Archdiocese in the fourth century.

The crypt, resting place for the bishops of the diocese. There are pews here, facing the tombs. Holding Mass in a crypt is an ancient practice, going back to the catacombs in Rome during the first centuries of Christianity.

Across the street from the cathedral is the Catholic St. Elizabeth's Hospital.

Address of the Cathedral:
200 West Harrison Street
Belleville Illinois 62220