of the Holy Cross
In 1860, Bishop John Fitzpatrick
saw that Boston had outgrown
the cathedral on Franklin Street,
but the Civil War interrupted plans
for building a new cathedral.
Ground was finally broken for the
new cathedral on April 29, 1866.
The rites of dedication were
performed on December 8, 1875,
by Archbishop John J. Williams,
Bostonís first archbishop.
An Irishmanís vision
The Cathedral of the Holy Crossís
cruciform neo-Gothic edifice was
designed by Patrick Charles
Keely. Born on Aug. 9, 1816 in
Thurles, Ireland, Keely was the
son of a builder who helped with
the construction of St. Patrickís
College in that Tipperary town.
The depiction of the
discovery of the true
cross by St. Helena in
Jerusalem during the
fourth century was
1869 and 1874,
probably by a
The relic of the cross
on which Christ is said
to have been crucified
was a gift to the
church of Boston from
its first pastor, the
Abbe de la Poterie,
Bostonís first public
Mass in 1788.
BY THE NUMBERS
Length 364 feet
Width 170 feet;
90 feet at nave
Height 120 feet
Pews Seat more than 2,000
Globe Staff Graphic / Alejandro Gonzalez, Kathleen Hennrikus, James Bennett
Archdiocese of Boston; Catholic Encyclopedia;
Catholic-hierarchy.org; "Dictionary of the Liturgy;"
Father Jason A. Gray of the Peoria Archdiocese;
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops