Directions

Bulletins

Get Involved

Cathedral Tour

Parish Calendar

Cathedral School

Contact Us

Catholic
Resources & Links



Proud Member of The Superior - Douglas County Area Chamber of Commerce



Mass Times  •   News & Events  •  Contribute  •   Contact Us

Welcome to the Cathedral of Christ the King 

1                                                          

History

Bishop Joseph Pinton officiated at the groundbreaking for the Cathedral in June of 1926. It was completed a year later at a cost of $300,000. Constructed in a Romanesque Basilican style of architecture, similar to the Church of St. Mary Major in Rome, the building exudes massive solidity and strength. It features a long center nave, round arches, and rainbow granite columns (quarried near St. Cloud, Minnesota) which separate the side aisles from the central nave.  The roofs of the nave, transepts, and sanctuary are higher than the roofs of the side aisles, allowing for a clerestory (“clear story”) containing larger windows which let light into the center of the church.

 3 

2

 The roofs of the "arms" of the east and west transepts, when seen from above, transform the rectangular roof of the nave into the shape of a perfect Latin cross.

 

The first Mass in the Cathedral was held December 25, 1927. At that time the windows were amber glass and the interior was unpainted plaster. It wasn't until 1937 that the outdoor concrete was poured for the plaza and steps.  Also in 1937, pews, confessionals and lights were added and walls were painted. The lower level was completed in 1946.  Our Cathedral was the first in the dioceses of the United States to bear the name Christ the King. The Solemnity of Christ the King is celebrated at end the liturgical year each November.

 

With the 100th Anniversary of the Diocese, a major preservation and enhancement of the building began in 2003 under the direction of Bishop Raphael M. Fliss, Rector Reverend Daniel Dahlberg, and liturgical design consultant Reverend Richard Vosko. The restored Cathedral was dedicated on February 5, 2005. 

  Follow your path through the Cathedral using the following descriptions:

 Entry

The new main entrance doors and those in the foyer (or narthex) contain decorative glass to let light into the main entrance.  In Scripture Jesus is called a “Door”.   Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  (Matthew 7:7)

 Diocesan Memorial Gifts Register

In the narthex you will find a special listing of people who made significant contributions at the diocesan level to the Cathedral’s liturgical arts and furnishings. 

 Nave

The nave, or main section of the church, is the place of assembly, “the Body of Christ.”  In the most recent renovation, here and elsewhere a new terrazzo floor was installed.  The wooden coffered ceiling was covered with sheet rock and painted, pews refinished, and several sections of movable chairs were added.  New lighting and acoustical systems were installed, and Trompe l’oeil (fool the eye) stenciling was added to the capitols atop the rainbow granite columns to make them look as if they were carved. 

4 

 Carving on the 1937 pews includes the Chi-RhoChi (x = ch) and Rho (p = r) are the first three letters of "Christ" or "Christos" in Greek.  This ancient symbol is placed between an upper case Alpha (A) and a lower case Omega (ῳ) which, in turn, symbolize Christ as the very beginning and the very end.

 Baptismal Font

Inside the main entrance is the baptismal font.  Baptisms may take place there by complete immersion or by pouring water over the head. The font is also available for blessing one's self with holy water.  The font is fabricated of carnelian granite and is faced with decorative arches and columns salvaged from the 1939 communion railing. The eight sided octagonal shape of the font symbolizes the concept of the "Eighth Day."

 Because early Christians believed that the resurrection and ascension of Christ signaled the renewal of creation, this made the day on which God accomplished it (Sunday) analogous to the first day of creation. Some early Christian writers also began referring to Sunday as the "Eighth Day," thus linking the rebirth of creation anticipated in the Old Testament to its fulfillment for us in Christ in a way that transcends time.  This shape then links the sacrament of baptism to this understanding of renewal, rebirth and transcendence.

Paschal Candle

The very tall candle usually found next to the baptismal font symbolizes the light of Christ. It is hand-crafted annually by John and Louise Pope, Cathedral parishioners.  This candle (also called the Easter Candle) is placed near the altar and remains lit during all Easter season liturgies.  It may also be lit during baptismal and funeral liturgies.

5 

  Stained Glass Windows

 In 1938, ninety-six stained glass windows were put in place.  During the restoration, every window in the church was disassembled, cleaned and re-leaded.  While in the nave, look up and admire the clerestory windows.  On the east side these windows predominately depict Old Testament figures, while those on the west present important figures from the history of the Church.  Lower windows along the side aisles include the coats of arms of each of our local Bishops (on the east side in roundels at the tops), along with the names and symbols of significant saints.  On the south or back wall are images including Christ the King, Mary the Mother of God, and St. Augustine of Hippo, the patron saint of the Diocese.  (Additional information regarding the windows is included toward the end of this booklet.)   

 Angel Murals

On the arches leading forward to the Sanctuary are painted depictions of angels, leading us to the altar.

 Mosaic of Christ

As you walk to the center of the Cathedral, look toward the sanctuary to see the mosaic of Christ Pantocrator located on the curved ceiling of the main apse. (Pantocrator is a Greek word meaning Ruler of All or Sustainer of the World.)  The depiction shows Jesus holding the Book of Gospels in his left hand and blessing with his right.  Jesus' fingers are depicted with two held upright and three curled, which represents the divine and human nature of Jesus and also the three persons of the Holy Trinity.  The colors of the garments are red for His humanity and blue for his divinity.  The unfixed gaze of the eyes are meant to show that Christ, as God, looks to eternity, while the naturalistic features of his face and tenderness of his expression are meant to show forth the mystery of the Incarnation.  That Christ, though truly God, is also truly one of us, a human being.

6

 

 Blessed Sacrament Chapel

Beneath the Pantocrator mosaic is the Blessed Sacrament chapel.  The Eucharist, a word taken from the Greek noun εὐχαριστία (eucharistia) meaning “thanksgiving,” is reserved here for distribution outside of Mass and for private prayer and adoration. It is kept safe in the tabernacle, a Hebrew word meaning “tent.”  The design of the lower part of our tabernacle is reminiscent of our bell tower.  You are welcome to enter the chapel to pray and adore the Eucharistic presence of Jesus. The Rosary is recited in the chapel before each weekday Mass.

 Angel Gates

The metal gates leading into the Blessed Sacrament chapel were designed to be closed during Mass, but left open at other times. 

 Sanctuary Lamp

A lamp suspended from the ceiling is kept burning to signal the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.  This lamp was presented to us by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration of La Crosse, Wisconsin, who for many years taught at the Cathedral School. 

 The Ambulatory

The semi-circular aisle which curves behind the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and serves to connect the two side aisles is called the ambulatory.  The windows there depict six of the seven sacraments.  A seventh opening was eliminated when an addition was made to the exterior of the building during the last renovation.  (The “Holy Orders” window is now in the Priests’ Sacristy.) 

 In an alcove in the rear of the ambulatory is a bronze bust depicting Christ crowned with thorns.  An image of this sort is often referred to as an Ecce Homo (EH-cheh OH-mo), which is Latin for “Behold the Man.”  (John 19:5)

 7

Work Sacristy

On the east side of the ambulatory is a restroom and work/storage area. The windows in this room (including the washroom, which was partitioned from the room during the renovation) depict the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

 Priests’ Sacristy

Off to the west side of the ambulatory is the Priests’ sacristy. Here the Bishop, Priests and Deacons prepare for Mass. Vestments and many of the other items used for the liturgy can be found here, along with a special sink (called a sacrarium) which drains directly into the ground.  The sacrarium is used to respectfully dispose of any sacred materials other than the Eucharistic species, which must always be reverently consumed.  (Only in extremely rare cases of contamination would the sacrarium be used to dispose of the Eucharist.)

 The windows in the Priests' sacristy presently depict some of the former "minor orders" along with the Diaconate as well as the Holy Orders window relocated from the ambulatory.  Here also is an ornately carved wooden chair, which was used as the Bishop’s chair prior to an earlier renovation in the 1970’s.   

 Sanctuary

In this space are the altar, the ambo, and the large cathedra (or Bishop's chair). There is also a large processional cross.  Our altar, cathedra and ambo are constructed of Botticino marble.

 The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is celebrated upon the altar, which symbolizes Christ in our midst.  The altar was anointed with Sacred Chrism during the dedication of the church and is venerated with a kiss before and after every Mass.

 9

 

 The cathedra (which is the ordinary Greek word for “chair”) brings with it the designation of the church as the diocesan Cathedral (the particular church building in the diocese which houses the official chair of the Bishop).  This chair, besides being a special place for Bishop to sit, also represents his teaching authority in our diocese.  In turn, our Bishop embodies the connection between our diocese and the universal Church through the tradition of unbroken apostolic succession.

 101112

Perhaps more commonly known as the pulpit, the ambo is where the scriptures are proclaimed.

 If you look up from the sanctuary toward the main entrances you will see four additional clerestory windows depicting the traditional symbols of the four Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  (These are described below under “Windows of the Evangelists.”)

 Mounted on the wall behind the ambo is the scripture ambry, where the books (lectionaries and gospel books) used for the proclamation of the Word are kept.

The Dedication Candles

Mounted on each side of the arch in the sanctuary are brackets decorated with crosses holding candles. These are two of the dedication candles, the remaining ten of which you will find symmetrically spaced throughout the church.  Marking the places where the walls were anointed with Sacred Chrism during the Cathedral’s dedication Mass, these candles are lit on this anniversary (February 5th) and also on other special occasions. 

 13 

 Reliquary

Set into the floor in front of the altar is a special reliquary, in which relics of seven saints and a group of martyrs are entombed. Relics are usually minute body parts or pieces of objects which were closely associated with holy people and their lives.  We keep them and reverence them as precious memorials and as reminders of our present-day link to them through the Communion of Saints.  (Our keeping a lock of a loved one’s hair is a very similar practice.)  Additional information regarding these relics is included toward the end of this booklet.)

 Mosaic of Mary

As you return to the center of the church, look in the side apse of the west transept to see the mosaic of Mary, depicted with the child Jesus, as God Bearer (or Theotokos).  The Council of Ephesus in 431 decreed Mary Theotokos because her son Jesus is both God and man: one divine Person with two natures (divine and human) which are intimately and hypostatically united.  Why is she dressed in red and not the usual blue?  Referring back to the mosaic of Christ Pantocrator in the main apse, in this depiction Christ’s outer garments are shown as blue while his inner garments are red, which symbolizes that he is divine and also filled with humanity.  As Theotokos, Mary’s outer garments are red while her inner garments are flecked with light blue, which symbolizes that she is human and also filled with divinity.

Communion Crosses

Also in the west transept near the entrance to the ambulatory is a place where seven pectoral crosses hang.  These wooden crosses, made by parishioner John Stack, were embellished with copper salvaged from the roof of the Cathedral when it was repaired.  They are worn by Extraordinary Ministers when they assist with the distribution of Holy Communion during Mass.

Mosaic of St. Augustine

Turn to the east transept to see the mosaic of St. Augustine of Hippo, who is also depicted in one of the clerestory windows above the main entrances.

 St Augustine, the patron of the Diocese of Superior, was born in 354 in Tagaste, North Africa. His father was a pagan, but his mother, St. Monica, was a Christian.  She dealt heroically with an abusive husband and prayed and schemed for Augustine's deliverance from immorality and philosophical confusion.  As a youth Augustine had received a Christian education but hadn’t yet been baptized. Later in Milan he met Saint Ambrose and was impressed by his sermons.  It took several years and bitter personal struggles before St. Ambrose baptized Augustine in 387. Returning to Africa, Augustine gave up all his possessions and gathered a group of friends to live a life of poverty, prayer and sacred studies.  Augustine’s conversion from a very loose life, which included parties and all that went with it, caused others to turn to him for help in their struggles with similar vices. He was ordained a priest while in Hippo and was made Bishop there in 396. Augustine’s writings became very influential in the development of Western Christianity and philosophy.  Known as one of the “Church Fathers,” among his most important works are City of God and Confessions, which continue to be read widely today.   He died in 430.

 Windows of the Evangelists

Each transept has two clerestory windows on their south sides.  Each window contains a symbolic figure of one of the four evangelists.

 In the east transept, St. Matthew and St. Mark

St. Matthew’s window has an image of a small human head surrounded by wings.  This symbol  references an angel who is supposed to have dictated to him as he wrote the gospel.  Another interpretation is that of a winged man because his gospel begins with the human genealogy of Jesus and speaks of Christ fulfilling the Old Testament scriptures.  (In Matthew 9.9 Christ calls a tax collector and he leaves his post to follow Jesus.  He seems not to look back.)

 The other window in the east transept depicts St. Mark, who is said to have been the first to have written his gospel. The inscription "according to Mark” was added some time after the gospel was written.  Little is known of St. Mark; however it is believed he became the first Bishop of Alexandria in Egypt and was martyred. His symbol in art is a Lion, usually winged.  

 In the west transept, St. John and St. Luke

St. John’s window depicts him as an eagle to show the heights to which he rises in the fourth gospel. John was seen as one of the closest to Christ who accompanied Jesus in some of his greatest moments and was also at the foot of the cross when Jesus died. Jesus entrusted his mother, Mary, to St. John after the crucifixion. Often shown as a young man among the older Apostles, Jesus called him and his brother, James, "Sons of Thunder”: (Mark 3:17). He is the only Apostle who did not die a martyr.

 Much of St. Luke's life is hidden in legends.  Listed as the author of a gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, he is mentioned in some of the letters of St. Paul, and he is pictured symbolically with the Evangelists.  St. Luke is said to have authored a gospel and the Acts of the Apostles between 70 and 90 AD.  St. Luke came from a gentile background and wrote for gentile converts to Christianity.  Since Luke did not know Christ personally, he had to rely on other sources for his gospel which centers on the poor and social justice.  Forgiveness and God's mercy to sinners are of special importance in this gospel.  He is the patron of physicians and surgeons, often depicted with an ox or calf, symbols of the sacrifice Jesus made for us all. 

 Choir and the Organ

Below the mosaic of St. Augustine, the east transept houses the choirs and musicians who lead the assembly in prayerful song and music during the liturgies. There are plans for a new pipe organ to be housed in the galleries in the north walls of the east and west transepts.

 Stations of the Cross

Returning to the rear of the church via the side aisles you will see the unique cast bronze Stations of the Cross designed by Wiktor Szostalo.  The Way of the Cross is a devotional tradition that dates back to the 13th century. The first of the fourteen stations begins at the north end of the west side aisle and continues to the east side aisle.

 

14 

 Devotional Chapels

The first of several devotional alcoves around the church contains an icon of Christ Pantocrator brought from Greece by our Rector, Reverend Andrew Ricci.  Also in this alcove is a register for parishioners and friends prayer requests and intentions for prayers.  Feel free to add your requests to the register.

 The Crucifix

A small devotional chapel for the crucifix is also found off of the west side aisle. Prior to the most recent renovation, this image of Jesus on the cross was suspended above the altar.  Before that it was located directly above the altar and tabernacle when they were positioned against the back wall of the apse, where the tabernacle is now.  It now has been placed here to encourage private prayer and adoration. Movable, on Good Friday this crucifix is placed in the center aisle at the foot of the altar for veneration by the assembly.  Here and in other devotional alcoves are votive candle stands which enable visitors to light a candle for their own special prayer intentions.

Blessed Virgin Mary

In this alcove is a hand carved wooden statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary brought here from Italy in the 1980’s.  Here visitors are invited to kneel and pray to Our Lady, mother of Jesus and our mother. Originally the statue stood on a pedestal designed by Mary Charles McGough, OSB, a Benedictine sister from the St. Scholastica monastery in Duluth.  This pedestal, which includes an arched doorway salvaged from the former confessionals, is now used in Kress Hall’s Room Four as a base for a Sacred Heart statue.

 Reconciliation Chapels

There are two reconciliation chapels in the Cathedral, one off of both the east and west side aisles. Also commonly referred to as “confessionals,” our reconciliation chapels are open to penitents who may choose to remain anonymous sitting or kneeling on one side of the screen. There is also a chair available to face the Priest confessor.  (For a schedule of confessions please see the cover of this booklet.)

 The Holy Oils

In this chapel, the three Holy Oils which are used in the administration of the Sacraments of the Church are reserved in a wooden ambry. The Oil of Catechumens is used for adults and infants in preparation for baptism. The Sacred Chrism is used for confirmation, ordination, and the dedication of a church. The Oil of the Sick is used for anointing the elderly and those who are ill. During the annual Chrism Mass new olive oil is blessed (Oil of the Sick and Oil of Catechumens) and consecrated (Sacred Chrism) and distributed to every parish in the diocese.

 Faith Formation Materials

On the table in the rear of the church you will find a variety of books, CD's, and other materials that are available at little or no cost.  Feel free to take any materials of interest.

 Vesting Room

Crossing the back of the church to the east aisle you will find a room available to liturgical ministers and Mass servers for vesting and preparation prior to the celebration of Mass.  On the wall inside you will find a crucifix depicting Jesus as "Christ the King.”  For a time prior to the 1930’s this piece of religious art was used as the Cathedral’s sanctuary crucifix.                                            

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

In the next chapel is a large bronze statue depicting a member of the Turtle clan of the Mohawk tribe from upstate New York.  Known as the “Lily of the Mohawks,” Kateri Tekawitha (1656-1680) was canonized in October 21, 2012. She is sometimes invoked as the patroness of ecology and the environment. This devotional area is a tribute to the many Native Americans who are part of the Superior Diocesan family.

 1615 17

Kress Hall

On the lower level of the church is Kress Hall, dedicated to Monsignor Alphonse Kress in 1983.  Monsignor Kress was a former rector of the Cathedral (1954-1978).  Framed photographs of the past and present Bishops of the Superior Diocese are mounted on the walls of the hall. 

 Here hospitality is shared and social activities occur. Some of these  include the annual "Lumen Christi" Recognition Event, annual Cathedral Chicken Dinner, monthly "cinnamon roll" tasting after Sunday Masses, First Communion and Confirmation receptions, parish meetings, Bible study, funeral luncheons, and Sunday teaching times for youngsters during Mass. A large main kitchen, a smaller catering kitchen, a library, a nursery, the school band room, a choir practice room, a performance stage and additional meeting rooms are also located off of Kress Hall.

Depiction of Saints and Old Testament figures in our clerestory windows

 Early churches were decorated artistically with the lives of Jesus and Mary, the Old Testament stories, and the lives of the saints. Many Christians were unable to read, so parents and teachers would bring children into the churches and use the artwork to teach them about Jesus and the communion of saints. As we visit the Cathedral we can use these beautiful windows to enlighten and stimulate prayerful remembrance of the men and women depicted in them.

 Saints in the history of the Church pictured in west side clerestory windows from the north:

Notice the number of male and female saints that flank the congregation from these windows.  They are reminders that we are all members of the communion of saints.

 St. John Vianney - 1st window: Born to a French family in 1786, he worked as a shepherd but always had a desire for the priesthood.  At age 20 he began his seminary studies but was drafted into the French army.  A story is that while he was waiting for his troop to leave, he went into a church to pray.  While he was praying the troop left and he stayed behind.  He became the town's schoolmaster but was allowed to go home when Napoleon granted amnesty to deserters in 1810.  Ordained in 1815 and assigned to the village parish of Ars, he spent the rest of his life and became known as "Curé of Ars."  Through his humble life he was able to reform the village. Often afflicted by attacks from the devil, he died peacefully in 1859 and was canonized in 1925.  Although St. John had many difficulties being accepted for the Priesthood, he was named patron of parish Priests.

 St. Thérèse of Lisieux - 2nd window:  Known as the "Little Flower" or "Thérèse of the Child Jesus," she was born in 1873 and died in 1897.  Living nine years in a Carmelite Monastery, Thérèse has become one of the most widely loved saints in the Roman Catholic Church.  Much of this came about as a result of her spiritual autobiography, “L'histoire d'une âme” (The Story of a Soul), which she wrote upon the orders of two prioresses of her monastery because of the many miracles worked at her intercession.  Known for her "little way" of performing ordinary and humble tasks with great love, she was canonized in 1925.  She was declared a "Doctor of the Church" by St. Pope John Paul II in 1997. ("Doctor" means "Teacher.")  She is often represented in art with an armful of roses because she said, "After my death I will let fall a shower of roses.”

 St. Vincent de Paul - 3rd window:  Well educated, he insisted that the Priests and sisters of the religious congregations he founded, “Priests of the Mission” (Vincentians) and “Daughters of Charity,” treat all they served with respect.  He told them that they should never talk down to anyone, including people who were poor. Vincent ministered to the poor, and worked with the rich to get them to help the poor. Canonized in 1605, he is the patron saint of charitable societies but did not found the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.  It was founded in 1833, and he was then established as its patron saint. 

 St. Catherine of Siena - 5th window: Born the 23rd child of 25 in 1347, she died in 1380. Her twin died at childbirth.  She lived at home even though she became a Dominican lay-affiliate.  She practiced austere penances.  Her writings describe her "mystical marriage" with Jesus after she began to tend to the sick and serve the poor.  She wrote to authorities begging for peace between the republics and principalities of Italy, and worked hard to have the Western Schism (more than one Pope) settled.  She was canonized in 1461 and named "Doctor of the Church" in 1970.  In 1999 St. Pope John Paul II named her one of Europe's patron saints. 

 St Francis of Assisi - 6th window:  He was born into the very wealthy Bernadone family in 1181 while his father was away. His mother had him baptized Giovanni. When his father returned he renamed him Francesco. A rather wild youth, he did, however, have a good education.  He took part in a battle between Assisi and Perugia, was captured and spent about a year in prison.

He later began to work with the poor.  In a dream, Christ called him to rebuild his Church, and Francis thought this meant the little church of St. Damian.  Interpreting Christ's call to be poor, Francis gave away everything.  He later extended this idea to his religious community founded in 1209.  His strict interpretation of a call to poverty caused problems for his order during and after his lifetime.  A wealthy young woman, Clara Sciffi, with his encouragement, founded a female order of Franciscans, the Poor Clares, in 1212.  Francis also drew up a rule for lay people who could not live in a monastery, which became the Third Order of St. Francis.  He received the stigmata, the real and painful wounds of Christ, in 1224.  Francis died in 1226.  Because of his holiness and popularity at that time, Pope Gregory IX canonized him in 1228.

 St. Benedict of Nursia - 7th window: A collection of stories from the life of St. Benedict used to help others live a holy life comes from the Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great. From this source we find he was the son of a Roman noble, living in the waning years of the Roman empire, and dying between 543 and 550.  His twin sister was St. Scholastica. Today he is considered the founder of Western monasticism, having started twelve small monasteries. The work of the Benedictines is social, a community of men who lived and worked and prayed together as a permanent way of life. His “Rule,” used and adapted by many religious communities today, was originally intended for laymen. Benedict’s most striking quality was his deep and wide human feeling and his moderation.  Pope Paul VI named Benedict the “Patron Protector of Europe” in 1964.    

 St. Agnes of Rome - 8th window:  A virgin martyr from the early Church (late 13th or 14th century) she was held in high esteem because of her youth, purity, and bravery in the face of persecution.  She was probably twelve or thirteen years old when she died.  She is the patroness of chastity, rape victims, and virgins.  A custom still in use is that of blessing two lambs on her feast day.  The white wool from these lambs is used to make a vestment called the “pallium” (a circular band worn about the neck with two pendants made and decorated in various ways).  The use of the pallium is reserved to the Pope as the symbol of his supreme authority, but he may allow other priests the honor of wearing it as a symbol of their importance and assistance to him. 

St. Joseph, Husband of Mary - 9th window: What we know of St. Joseph comes from the first chapters of Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels.  A carpenter, he was not rich since he had to offer the sacrifice of the poor.  He was of the royal line stemming from David the King, and a compassionate and caring man since he decided to handle the problem of Mary's pregnancy quietly.  Following instructions from God through an angel, he is seen as a man of faith and obedience.  St. Joseph is a good model for the men of today.

Old Testament figures pictured in east side clerestory windows from the north:

Abraham Patriarch - 1st window: The history of Abraham and Sarah begins in the Book of Genesis.  Abraham was called Abram before God changed his name to mean "father of multitudes."  He was given great promises concerning where he was going, his property and his descendants.  Like all couples Abraham and Sarah wanted a child; however Sarah was barren.  They prayed for an heir to fulfill the promises from God, but time passed and they grew old.  Finally at Sarah's insistence a son was conceived and born by her handmaid, Hagar.  They were told to call him Ismael.  And God said, "Sarah, thy wife, shall bear a son and you shall call him Isaac."  Abraham laughed as Sarah was ninety years old.  Isaac was a miracle child born in old age in fulfillment of God's promise.  When Isaac was a youth, God ordered Abraham to take him to a mountain and sacrifice him.  Abraham obeyed, but at the last moment an angel stopped him.  It was a test of faith.  Isaac became Patriarch of the Jewish nation, fathering Jacob and Esau.  Jacob's 12 sons would go on to lead the 12 tribes of Israel.

 Melchisadech King - 2nd window:  Said to be a King of righteousness, King of Salem (peace) and a priest of the most high, Melchisadech met Abraham and blessed him.  "He is without father, or mother or genealogy and has neither beginning of days nor end of days." (Heb.7:13)  Mysterious words have baffled scholars, some who have argued he was the Holy Spirit or the pre-incarnate Jesus.  In Psalm 110, David links his royal line with the priest-kingship of Melchisadech.  In the Book of Hebrews, Levi, one of the 12 tribes of Isreal recognized the superiority of the Order of Melchisadech (5:10). 

 Moses Prophet - 3rd window: Frightened for her son, Moses' mother put her infant son in a basket in the river where Pharaoh's daughter bathed.  When Pharaoh's daughter found the babe and took him to be her own, Moses' sister, Miriam suggested that Yocheved, Moses' mother, nurse the child.  Pharaoh's daughter agreed and took Moses into the temple of the Pharaoh.  Here his real mother instilled a knowledge of his heritage and love of his people that could not be erased.

When a grown man, Moses could not deal with the cruelty of the Egyptians. When he killed an Egyptian who had struck a Hebrew slave,  Moses fled from punishment to Midian where he married Zipporah, and spent 40 years tending to her father's sheep.

God then appeared to Moses and chose him to return to Egypt and lead the Israelites out of slavery.  Moses spoke to Pharaoh seeking release of the Hebrews. When Pharaoh refused, God triggered plagues and the death of Egyptian first born sons. Pharaoh then agreed and Moses led the people out of Egypt.  Moses brought them through the desert and the Red Sea to Mount Sinai where God gave them the Torah and the Ten Commandments.  Because of Moses transgressions and his questioning of God's direction, Moses who led the Israelites to the Promised Land was himself not allowed to enter.

 Ruth the Righteous - 4th window:   The Book of Ruth is one of the books of the Bible attributed to Samuel the Prophet.  It deals with the conversion to Judaism, the house of David, and the promise of the Messiah.  In the book are problematic ideas concerning Ruth, the great grandmother of David and the Messiah to come.  The problem begins with Naomi, who leaves her home during a famine to settle in Moab with her husband and two sons.  Her two sons marry foreign girls, one of which is Ruth.  The father and two sons die, and Naomi decides to return to Israel. Ruth decides to go with Naomi. Because they are alone and both very poor, Naomi sends Ruth to glean the leftovers from the field of Boaz.  Because of Ruth's sincerity and piety, Boaz wants her to be his wife.  The problem is, when did Ruth become Jewish?  A person could not become Jewish by adopting their customs; they must be judged sincere.  Ruth passed the test.  She pledged to Naomi that "Your God is my God," and she was then judged to be Jewish.  A “leverite marriage” ensues (which is one where the brother of a deceased man is obliged to marry his brother's widow, and the widow is obliged to marry her deceased husband's brother), and from it a child is born (Obed) to establish the dynasty of David.   Obed became the grandfather of King David and an ancestor of Christ Jesus.

 David  Prophet - 5th window: King David was Israel's most important king. Of the tribe of Judah, David was the eighth and youngest son of Jesse of Bethlehem.  As a young boy, David killed Goliath, a Phillistine giant, victorious because he trusted in God for victory. He presented the head of Goliath to King Saul. When David became King of Israel, he was engaged in almost constant warfare but could not conquer himself. The lust of David for Bathsheba was a famous love story of the Bible, which had disasterous consequences.  King David, father of Solomon, one of Israel's greatest kings, was also father to Absalom, whose rebellion brought bloodshed and grief. 

Almost half of the Psalms are said to be written by David. His passionate love of God written in the Psalms gives us some of the most beautiful poetry ever written.  David  reigned over Isreal for 40 years (7 years in Hebron, and 33 in Jerusalem).  He was buried on Mount Zion.  Jesus, an ancestor of David was often called "Son of David"

 Isais Prophet - 6th window: Said to have lived in the 8th century BC, Isais (also spelled Isaiah) was one of the later prophets in the Hebrew Bible, and first of the major prophets in the English Bible.  His oldest surviving manuscripts are two scrolls found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Book of Isais is distinctive in its portrayal of the "wrath of the Lord."  The son of Amoz, a member of the royal family, he was said to be divinely inspired and preached for 64 years.  Hezechiah ruled Jerusalem in Isais time and was said to give an ear to the prophet; however turbulence increased after Hezechiah's death.  Muslim tradition maintains that the people of Isreal were angered and sought to kill Isais.  He was killed by King Manasseh by being sawn in two. 

 Mother of the Maccabees - 7th window: The seven Maccabean Martyrs - Habin, Antonen, Guriah, Eleazar, Eusebon, Hadim, and Marcellus, their mother Solomonia and their teacher Eleazar suffered under the Syrian Emperor Antriochos in 166 before the birth of Christ.

Adhering to a Hellenistic cult, the emperor introduced pagan customs in Jerusalem and throughout Judea.  He desecrated the Temple, putting a statue of pagan god, Zeus, there and forcing the Jews to worship it. A 90 year old elder, Eleazar was brought to trial, underwent torture and died. The Maccabeans fearlessly acknowledged being followers of the true God and refused to worship the pagan gods.  One by one, the brothers were given over to fierce tortures in sight of remaining brothers and their mother, Solomonia. When only the youngest remained, the emperor suggested Solomonia urge him to worship the idols so a final son would remain for her. She and her son refused and he was tortured unto death.  After the deaths of Solomonia and her seven martyred sons, a revolt was inspired and with the help of God gained victory.  

 St. Anne, Mother of Mary and Grandmother of Jesus - 8th window:  Information we have about the grandparents of Jesus (Joachim and Anne) comes from some apocryphal writings. Joachim, a Galilean, married Anne from Bethlehem, and for many years they remained childless. However an angel appeared to Joachim and Anne telling them that Anne was to bear a child and she would be called Mary.  The angel also told them, "Miraculously the Son of the Most High will be born of her and his name will be called Jesus, and through him all nations will be saved."  St. Anne is the patroness of women in labor and housewives. 

 St John the Baptist - 9th window: Born six months before Jesus, as the Gospel of St. Luke gives us somewhat of a time element about St. John's conception and birth, the life and work of John comes to us from all four gospels. Elizabeth, his mother is referred to as a "relative" of Mary, though we think of him as the "cousin" of Jesus.  Living for some time as a hermit in the desert, he was about 30 years old when he began to preach publicly on the banks of the Jordan River.  He attracted large crowds.  Jesus was a part of that crowd one day and asked to be baptized by John.  John himself pointed to Christ as the "Lamb of God."  Put in prison and eventually beheaded by Herod Antipas, John can be considered as the prophet who was a bridge between the Old and New Testament since he was the prophet who gave the immediate preparation for the coming of the Messiah.

 Saints relics included in the floor reliquary in front of the altar:

 As described above, set into the floor in front of the altar is a special reliquary, in which relics of seven saints and a group of martyrs are entombed.   Relics are usually minute body parts or pieces of objects which were closely associated with holy people and their lives.  We keep them and reverence them as precious memorials and as reminders of our present-day link to them through the Communion of Saints.  (Our keeping a lock of a loved one’s hair is a very similar practice.) 

 St. Aloysius Gonzaga - Born in 1568, a brilliant student under the spiritual guidance of St. Charles Borromeo, Aloysius professed vows as a Jesuit in 1587.  In 1591 a pestilence broke out in Italy and, having dedicated himself to the care of the sick, he fell ill and died in 1591 before being ordained. Canonized in 1726, among other things, he is the patron of care-givers to those with HIV/AIDS.

 St. Catherine Laboure - Born May 2, 1806, the ninth of eleven children, she cared for the family upon the death of her mother. She entered the community of the Daughters of Charity founded by St. Vincent de Paul in France. Three times the Virgin Mary appeared to her when she was a 24 year old novice. During the third apparition, the Lady showed Catherine the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, now known as the "Miraculous Medal," and directed her to spread devotion to this medal.  She died in 1876 and was canonized by Pope Pius XII on July 27, 1947.  She is the patroness of young families.

 St. Gerard Majella, C.SS.R - St. Gerard was born in Italy in 1726.  His father died when he was very young. He then supported his mother and used his earnings to help the poor. He attempted to enter the Capuchin order, but when that failed, he lived as a hermit. He later entered the Congregation of the Redemptorists in 1749.  The founder, St. Alphonsus Liguori, considered Gerard a "miracle of obedience."  Accused of shameful crime, Gerard remained silent and was later cleared of the accusations.  It was said he converted more people than the missionaries he accompanied.  He died in 1755 and was canonized by Pope Pius X in 1904.  He is the patron of childbirth, children, those falsely accused, mothers, pregnant women, the pro-life movement, and unborn children.

 St. John Neumann - He was born in Bohemia in 1811. As Bohemia was overstocked with priests, he walked from there to a French port to board a sailing vessel to New York.  He was ordained there in 1836 as a diocesan priest, ministering in western New York for several years.  He spoke as many as twelve languages including Gaelic, which caused him to be mistaken for an Irish priest.  He joined the Redemptorists in 1840 and traveled as a missionary through Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.  He became Bishop of Philadelphia in 1852 and was the first to organize a Catholic school system in the new States. He is considered the patron of Catholic schools, and is the first American male and the first American Bishop to be canonized.  He died in 1860 and was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1977. 

 St. Maria Goretti - Born in 1890, she was the daughter of humble sharecroppers who shared a building with another family.  She matured quickly in grace and holiness.  Losing her father to malaria, she took on the family chores. The highlight of her young life was her First Holy Communion in 1901.  Just a year later, she was attacked by the son of the second family.  Maria rebuffed his sexual advances and was stabbed 14 times.  She died as a result of the assault, but not before she forgave her attacker.  He was a prisoner for many years but was present at her canonization in 1950 by Pope Pius XII.  She is patroness of modern youth and victims of rape. There is a statue of St. Maria Goretti on the first floor of the Cathedral school.

 St. Pius X - Born Giuseppi Melchiorre Sarton in 1835, he was born poor, lived poor and wished to die poor. Ordained a priest in 1858 he became Bishop of Mantua and Cardinal Patriarch of Venice.  Elected Pope in 1903, his motto was "to renew all things in Christ.”  He died of natural causes and, some say, of worry over the beginning of World War I in 1914. He was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1954, and because he issued the decree authorizing the reception of communion at age seven, he is considered the patron of first communicants.

 St. Marie Rose Durocher - Born Eulalie Durocher in 1811, she was drawn to religious life but turned away because of frail health.   She served her brother, a priest, for several years; then in 1843 the Bishop of Montreal asked her to start a new religious order dedicated to the education of the poorest and neglected children.  She then became Mother Marie Rose of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. She died in 1849 and was beatified in 1982 by Pope John Paul II.  She is considered the patroness of bodily ills and loss of parents. 

 The Japanese Martyrs - There were many martyrs in Japan, but it is believed the relics here are from the first victims of the suppression of Christians. Portuguese merchants brought the Christian faith to Japan in 1543, and the numbers of Christians grew rapidly.  However the growth brought rivalry including among the missionaries themselves, of whom St Francis Xavier was one.  The first victims of suppression were six Franciscan friars and twenty converts.  Executed at Nagasaki in 1597 by being tied to crosses and then stabbed to death, St. Paul Miki and Companions were canonized in 1862.

Parish Prayer

This prayer was written and shared by members of the parish for a recent fund-raising campaign and beyond.  You’re invited to conclude your tour of the Cathedral of Christ the King by saying this prayer:

Heavenly Father,

You give us the gifts of faith, hope and love.

Lead our Cathedral Family to be faithful witnesses

as we follow Jesus Christ, our King.

Send your Holy Spirit upon us,

and empower us to live these gifts with joy and strength.

May our sacrifices today help us to move Forward in Faith,

Educate, Inspire, and Engage us all

to reach out to those in need, and to proclaim the Good News.

Through the intercession of Venerable Solanus Casey,

unite our Cathedral Family in a spirit of charity,

and direct our work for the glory of your Son,

who lives and reigns with you

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, forever and ever.  Amen. 

 18

Venerable Solanus Casey

A Capuchin priest, Fr. Casey was born in Wisconsin and spent his life in the service of others, especially the poor.  Declared “venerable” by the Church in 1995, he is now a candidate for Beatification, and possibly for eventual Sainthood.  Fr. Casey is especially held dear by the people of the parish as he made his decision to enter the Priesthood while he was living in the city of Superior and working as a streetcar operator.

 

Click here to view our Tour Booklet in sections→  Pages 1-3  ~  4-7  ~  8-11  ~  12-15  ~  16-20

 

The tour booklet was compiled by Joanne Gidley and Fr. Leon Flaherty, with the cooperation of Fr. Andrew Ricci and the Cathedral Liturgy Committee.

 

Cathedral of Christ the King | Cathedral School | Calvary Cemetery
1410 Baxter Avenue | Superior, WI 54880 | Phone: 715.392.8511
Cathedral of Christ the King is the seat of the Diocese of Superior