Catholics from throughout the Archdiocese of
Galveston-Houston gathered on Sunday, January 30, 2005, to witness
and celebrate the start of construction on their new cathedral.
A colorful, prayer-filled groundbreaking ceremony was held on the
site of the new structure that will change the face of the south
side of Downtown Houston.
The solemn blessing began in the sanctuary of
the existing Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral at 1111 Pierce Street.
Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza was joined by Coadjutor Archbishop
Daniel DiNardo and Auxiliary Bishops Vincent Rizzotto and Joe
Vasquez in leading a procession of clergy and faithful across the
street to the site of the new cathedral. Songs of joy, the formal
blessing of the ground and a ceremonial groundbreaking were then
held on the construction site.
The proposed 1,820 seat structure will be
located in the middle of three blocks bounded by San Jacinto and
Fannin Streets on the east and west, Jefferson Street to the north
and St. Joseph Parkway to the South. City planners expect the new
40 million dollar cathedral to be an integral part of the Main
Street Project and the continued development in Downtown Houston.
The new cathedral will be of a classic design and will feature a
majestic domed roof over the altar and a 140 foot campanile (bell
According to Archbishop Fiorenza, “Today we
celebrate the generosity and love of our people who have worked
together to bring us to this point in our history. This new
cathedral is important to our archdiocesan family in that it will
provide us with a much needed central place of worship for major
religious events.” The new structure will serve the 1.3 million
Catholics in the 10-county area that comprise the Archdiocese of
Galveston-Houston. The archbishop added that he hopes the new
cathedral will also serve for large ecumenical and interfaith
programs, as well as for civic events that serve the entire
Construction is expected to be completed by
spring 2007. Ziegler-Cooper Architects of Houston designed the new
cathedral. Linbeck Construction Corporation of Houston has
been selected as the general contractor.