Boston cathedral to finish $26 million overhaul by Holy Week

Project has been fully funded by private donations

BOSTON — A $26 million project to renovate the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is on track for completion by Palm Sunday in time for Holy Week liturgies.

The main sanctuary of the cathedral is due to reopen in April with a first Mass scheduled for April 14, The Boston Globe reported.

The cathedral serves as the mother church in the Archdiocese of Boston and is located in the city’s South End neighborhood.

Two chapels have hosted Masses to facilitate the restoration work, which has been fully funded by donations. The main worship hall has been inaccessible to the public since May 2017.

When the cathedral fully reopens, it will have better lit stained-glass windows, a new altar, restored oak pews, a stone floor in place of its former wood floor, and new wiring, sprinkler and sound systems.

The ceiling panels above the altar have also been upgraded and the front entrance repainted. An air conditioning system will also be added.

It is the first time the cathedral has been renovated in 150 years.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, told local television station WBZ the Church was taking great care to preserve the history and sacred nature of the building.

“A lot of work. It’s really transforming it,” he said. “Wonderful, working-class immigrants made many sacrifices to put up this beautiful temple, and now it’s our turn to make sure that it’s preserved for future generations.”

“It’s going to be a bright place. It will be filled with light,” said David Manfredi, the CEO of Elkus Manfredi Architects.

“Whenever we had the choice, we respect the history of the place. It’s a very special building.”

Historic church 

  • Cardinal Richard Cushing celebrated a solemn pontifical requiem Mass in memory of President John F. Kennedy with members of the Kennedy family and dignitaries in 1964. Kennedy was a native of Boston.
  • St. John Paul II prayed and gave an address at the cathedral in 1979 during a trip to the United States.
  • President Barack Obama spoke to the nation during an interfaith service at the cathedral following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.


To learn more: 

Bishop Robert Reed, Catholic Digest’s editor-at-large, has photos of the renovations on his Twitter feed @BpRobertReed.

The Cathedral’s website has additional information about the project,

Catholic Digest contributed to this article. 

Archdiocese of BostonBostonCardinal Sean O'MalleyCathedral of the Holy CrossLa Croix InternationalNation/World
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