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The completion of the Cathedral of
St Paul—the erection of the magni ficent marble altar which is to house the tabernacled Lord, the enrichment of the sanctuary as a worthy setting for such a jewel, the adornment of the coronet of chapels destined to en hance its beauty, the sheathing of the interior walls with glistening marble —will mark an epoch in the annals of Catholicity in Minnesota and the Northwest. It will tell to future gen erations the story of the pioneer Catholics who, In faith and self-denial, laid the foundation of the Church in this state, and of their more favored successors who, building on the found ation thus laid, erected on woodland and plain, in hamlet and city, church es more ample in proportion and more pretentious in architectural detail, and thus paved the way for the magni ficent temple which graces the brow of St. Anthony's Hill in the capital city of the State, and proclaims to all the virile faith of the present genera tion, the generosity of their offerings for the worship of God, and their de sire to see the diocese enriched with a Cathedral worthy to stand beside the monumental edifices of other days as an expression of their love for the Incarnate God and a home not un worthy of His abiding presence. The picture of the Cathedral of St. Paul which adorns the cover of this issue gives one a good idea of its architectural grandeur and Imposing dimensions as it towers above the busy mart of trade that nestles about the base of the hill from which it rises towards the sky in splendid iso lation. The dedication of this new temple to the service of God on Low Sunday, April 11, 1915, marked what may not inaptly be regarded as the beginning of the golden age of Catho licity in the diocese. The pioneer days, rich in their garnered harvest of self-sacrificing deeds done for God and religion by valiant missionary and heroic layman, have passed away forever, leaving a rich inheritance to us of the present day and a sweet memory to the thinning ranks of those who took part in their struggles, witnessed their triumphs, and lived to enjoy their fruits. The building of the new Cathedral of St. Paul, there fore, marks the passing away of the old and the ushering in of the new. V, The present Cathedral of St Paul —the fourth in the order of time—rep resents the third migration of the mother ctturch of the diocese during the sixty-six years of its ecclesiasti cal existence. The little log chapel •Which stood on Bench Street Hill wel comed within its sanctuary the Cathe dra, or chair, of the pioneer Bishop of St. Paul, the Right Reverend Joseph Cretin, who took possession of his frontier See on July 2, 1851. This log chapel, however, was not the first bouse of worship to cast its beneficent tiiadow on the soil of the North Star State. It was in reality the fourth dhapel erected within the confines of what is now the State of Minnesota, and the third in which the holy Sao- (fatholic^klulletin. rifice of the Mass was offered up. The history of the Catholic Church in Minnesota carries us back to the days when French traders and *voy ageurs, fascinated by the glitter of gold and lured by love of adventure, established posts in this western country for the purpose of carrying on trade with the aboriginal inhabit ants. While this was the primary purpose of these fortified enclosures, they served, likewise, as centers of missionary activity, for the traders were usually accompanied by a priest who not only ministered to their spir itual needs but sought to bring the Redmen under the benign influence of the gospel. Rude chapels were built within these stockades, whence the message of Christianity was preached to the Indians. It was upon the primi tive altar of one of these log chapels that the August Sacrifice of the Mass was first celebrated within the limits of the State of Minnesota. Supplement. ST. PAUL, MINN., JANUARY 27, 1917 Volume 7, Number 5. Cljurrij ttt As early as the middle of the seven teenth century the first chapel in Minnesota was erected on what is now known as Prairie Island situated in the Mississippi River a few miles be low the present town of Hastings. It was built in 1655, by two French travellers, Groseilliers and Radisson, who during their year's residence on the Island gave religious instruction to the Huron Indians who had been driven by the Iroquois from their country in the vicinity of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. Groseilliers and Radisson performed the duties of lay missionaries among the Indians, in structing them in the Faith and baptiz ing their children and as there is no mention of a priest, we infer that Mass was not celebrated in this primitive chapel. The second log chapel was built at Fort Beauharnois on the shores of Lake Pepin, near the present village of Frontenac, in 1727. It was dedi cated to St. Michael the Archangel, and Mass was said in it by Fathers Michael Guignas and Nicholas DeGon ner, both Jesuit missionaries, who ac companied the expedi ion sent from Eastern Canada to trade with the In dians. In the following spring the fort, together with the chapel, was transferred to the site of the present Villa Maria Convent and Academy, and occupied from time to time for more than a score of years. The third chapel was erected at Fort St Charles on the southern shore of the Lake of the Woods in the northern part of what is now Beltrami County, in August 1732, by La Verendrye who was seeking a passage to the Pacific Ocean. Among his followers was Father Messaiger and, later on, Father Aulneau, both Jesuits, who said Mass in this little chapel. Father Aulneau, the son of La Verendrye and nineteen com panions were afterwards murdered by the Indians and the bodies of the young Jesuit and of La Verendrye, to gether with the heads of the others, were buried beneath the chapel, the exact site of which was discovered in 1908 by an expedition sent out by the late Archbishop Langevin of St Boniface, Manitoba. The next chapel in the order of time was the log structure on Bench Street Hill, to which reference has already been made, and which served as the first Cathedral of the newly organized Diocese of St. Paul. It was built by the Rev. Lucien Galtier in 1841, to accommodate a number of his parishioners who had been driven from the vicinity of Fort Snelling to what is now the site of the city of St. Paul. On November 1, of that year, Father Galtier dedicated the log chapel and placed it under the patron age of St Paul. From this little chapel the city of St. Paul derives its name. In 1844 the Rev. Augustine Ravoux became pastor of the log chapel of St Paul. To accommodate the growing congregation he built an addition which almost doubled its seating capacity and it was to this humble sanctuary that Father Ravoux welcomed the first Bishop of the Dio cese of St PauL When Bishop Cretin took possession of his See on July 2, 1851, he found only three priests within the territory committed to his care—Father Ravoux in St. Paul, and Fathers Belcourt and Lacombe at Pembina, in what is now the State of North Dakota. With characteristic energy he began the work of his episcopate. The great need of his diocese was priests to minister to the scattered Catholics under his jurisidlction. By degrees he secured additional laborers for his vineyard and during the years of his episcopate, which ended on February 22, 1857, he had the happiness of see ing the number of Catholics in the dio cese increase, as well as the number of his co-workers in the ministry. Shortly after Bishop Cretin's arrival he made plans for a new Cathedral and a site was secured on what is now the corner of Sixth and Wabasha Streets, and a brick structure three stories high was ejected. The church occupied the second story, above it was the living apartment of the Bishop and his clergy, and below it a school for boys taught by the Chris tian Brothers. In December, 1851, this second Cathedral of St. Paul was dedicated to the service of God. It was a great improvement over the original log chapel—much larger and more pretentious. In the course of a few years, however, the increasing population of the city made a larger church necessary and, in 1854, work was begun on the third Cathedral on the corner of Sixth and St. Peter Streets. The cornerstone was laid on July 27, 1856, by Bishop Timon of Buffalo but before the building rose above the water-table, the first Bishop of St. Paul laid aBide his pastoral staff and was gathered to his fathers. At the close of Bishop Cretin's episcopate there were in the Diocese of St. Paul twenty-nine churches thirty-five stations, where religious services were held occasionally twenty priests five convents of re ligious women a monastery of Bene dictine Fathers a house of teaching Brothers a hospital several Catholic schools and a Catholic population of nearly fifty thousand. What a won derful growth in less than six years! Truly, God gave the increase! His successor, the Right Reverend Thomas L. Grace, who took possession of the See in 1859, found his Cathe dral completed as a result of the ef forts of Father Ravoux who had ad ministered the diocese after the death of Bishop Cretin. The first Mass was said within its sanctuary on June 13, 1858, although the building was un finished and unplastered. It continued to serve the needs of the diocese until August 31, 1914, when the last Mass was celebrated within its sacred pre cincts. The second Bishop of St. Paul re signed the See on July 31, 1884, and went Into retirement as Titular Bish op of Menith. His successor was the present Metropolitan, the Most Rev erend John Ireland, who was conse crated Titular Bishop of Maronea and Coadjutor to Bishop Grace on Decem ber 21, 1875, the fourteenth anniver sary of his ordination. On the retire ment of Bishop Grace he became third Bishop of St. Paul, and on May 15, 1888, when the diocese was raised to the rank of a Metropolitan See he became its first Archbishop. The present Cathedral of St Paul Is the crowning work of his episcopal career. The project of building a new Cathedral was decided upon on March 31, 1904, and immediate steps were taken to secure the commanding site upon which it now rests. The task of designing it was entrusted to Mr. E. L. Masqueray, and ground was broken in the fall of 1906. On June 2, 1907, the cornerstone was laid the first religious service was held on Palm Sunday, March 28, 1915, and the dedication took place on Low Sunday, April 11, of the same year. The ex terior alone was completed, the in terior walls being bare of adornment, and the sanctuary and chapels un touched by the artist's hand. Since then special efforts have been put forth to complete some of the chapels and already the work of finishing the chapel of St. Peter, and that of St. Joseph is well under way. A gift of $50,000, pledged for the high altar, gives assurance that the Cathe dral sanctuary will one day enshrine an altar worthy of its magnificent setting. Visitors to the new Cathedral are thrilled with admiration as they view its architectural perfection and pic ture to themselves what it will be like when the interior shall receive an adornment in keeping with the ex terior beauty of the sacred edifice. It is the pride of the Catholics, not only of this city but of the diocese and of the Northwest—an archi tectural gem of which the citizens of St Paul, irrespective of class or creed, may legitimately be proud. It is the crowning glory of less than three score and ten years of organized Catholicity in the State of Minnesota.